There’s snow on the ground and temps are still in the single digits, but the Spring Parade of Homes is almost here. Every spring and fall we look forward to new trends, and energy updates. 406 new homes will be open starting February 24-March 25 presented by BATC (Builders Association of the Twin Cities). Homes are always open Thursdays through Sundays noon to 6PM.

With over 400 model homes to see, where do you start? There’s no way to see them all, so you have to make some choices. The website helps you sort them out. You can choose an area, a builder, price point, single family or town home. Go for location first, maps are divided into 8 areas throughout the Twin Cities, and Western Wisconsin. Then, choose the kind of home that interests you. Make sure you see at least one certified Green Path home, there are 258 to choose from. All Green Path homes have been tested for a Home Energy Rating System index, or a HERS score. Homes built post 2006 are 40% more energy efficient than prior to 2006, and it’s worth a little time to discover how that saves both energy and money over the life of the home.

What are the trends for 2018? Homes are smarter. Technology keeps evolving, the entire home can be programmed from a mobile device. Most furnaces are 95% efficiency, and will text you if there is a glitch in the system. Kenmore and Whirlpool are embracing the smart kitchen, and announced Alexa enabled appliances for this year. Now you can talk to the fridge, and it might answer. There’s no turning back.

Look for master suites with a spa like bath, bigger windows, luxury vinyl in place of tile, some have options to add a shower pad in the mud room to wash the dog, or kids as they come in from a soccer game.

Most people cruise through open houses ogling kitchens, and decor. If you’re buying, there is so muchmore to learn about the whole package. There’s a lot to know about that you don’t see, and the differences between builders other than just the price. Each builder has feature sheets listing materials, specifics and energy upgrades. Do you want a customized home, or are you happy with a trendy national builder?  Choosing a builder is critical to having a good building experience, and loving the home that you’re in for years to come. You’ll want to know how long they have been in business, and how past homeowners felt about their experience. There may be some options for existing construction that are move in ready. The advantage is that those homes already have additional upgrades, and all it takes is the time for a loan to be processed to move in. 

Check out my blog on new construction at, lots of tips, advice, and what you need to know about the latest in energy conservation. Then we need to talk about financing. That’s gotten smarter too. My job is to educate you on not only what’s on the market, but how the process for new construction works, what to expect, and smart financing.


You’ll need coffee, it’s on me.