Pioneer Press to Leave Downtown St. Paul

The St. Paul Pioneer Press just sold off their downtown headquarters. The 162,000 square foot, 1950s era property was sold to an apartment developer, the Stencil Group, based out of Sioux Falls. They wil move their operation to the River Park Plaza across the Mississippi River. The sum was undisclosed, though reports say the sale was not far off the asking price was $4.2 million.

The property will be refurbished into around 150 and 168 marketable apartments. The apartments will not be upscale or for only the wealthiest Twin City residents; the complex will be well-built, have nice interior designs and be moderately priced.

The newspaper industry has undergone many changes in recent years as the paper information industry continues to wane. In 2013, Pioneer Press closed down their St. Paul printing plant in favor of having their rival, the Star Tribune, print their papers. The Minneapolis plant now prints both papers.

St. Paul just lost an icon in their city's newspaper's headquarters.


St. Paul to host President Obama

President Obama will visit St. Paul on Wednesday February 26, 2014.  His visit will be two-fold: first a stop to tour the Metro transit facility that is responsible for light rail operations and then downtown to Union Depot to discuss new job creation measure.

The President's visit will spotlight the new Central Corridor rail line that will finally link the urban centers of Downtown Minneapolis and Downtown St. Paul.  With stops at the University of Minnesota and along University Avenue the new lightrail, dubbed the "green line," will link the downtowns in the same way Streetcars did before they disappeared over 60 years ago. 

The green line is currently being tested and is scheduled to open in June 2014 and I expect it will have a positive affect on the real estate market surrounding its route.  While public transportation has existed between the downtowns since the streetcars left, the light rail will cause home buyers to take a new look at those communities that surround the green line because of the convenience it will bring to those who work and/or play in the downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul.  For many home buyers, they want to live where they can conveniently access the amenities that the downtown centers provide, but they don't want to live "in" those urban centers.


Chanhassen, Apple Valley & Savage Ranked 'Best Places to Live'

Several Twin Cities suburbs made Money Magazine’s 2013 list of the best small towns to live in. Apple Valley MN, Chanhassen MN and Savage MN were ranked in the top 50 of the most highly rated communities national.

Chanhassen jumped from 10th place in 2011 to fourth this year. Apple Valley ended up at 17 and Savage jumped to 21, all the way from 51st in 2011.

Money Magazine’s list covers cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000. It takes into account of such ­factors as local incomes, crime rates and schools, as well as amenities such as Savage’s new sports dome and walkable downtown.

Topping the “Best Places to Live” list was Sharon, Mass. Now for the information you’ve been waiting for!

Chanhassen, MN

Top 50 rank: 4
Population: 23,685

Chanhassen was affected by Minnesota's woes during the downturn, but the town is bouncing back and taking fresh steps to improve. The area school district recently provided $700,000 in grants for classroom tech projects and is now rolling out Wi-Fi on all school buses. The town also beefed up commuter options.
The housing market, which took a big hit, is surging back. Jobs have remained strong, and nearby Minneapolis offers big-name employers like Target and the Mayo Clinic.

One perk of Twin Cities-area living is access to the great outdoors. Chanhassen MN's highlights include 34 parks, 90 miles of trails, and the 1,137-acre Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. When below-zero wind chills set in, there's February Festival with ice-fishing contests, sledding, and cookouts.

Apple Valley, MN

Top 50 rank: 17
Population: 49,863

If you don't mind cold winters, there's plenty to recommend this family-friendly Twin Cities suburb. There's a wide range of affordable ...

Young Flat Earth Brewery Expanding Into Old Hamm's Brewery

There’s a new story on the local Minnesota beer front and it isn’t the Surly Brewery going up in Minneapolis. Flat Earth Brewing Co., part of the Twin Cities’ growing craft beer economy, plans to expand into several abandoned buildings at the old Hamm’s Brewery in the East Side neighborhood of St. Paul.

The microbrewer has won initial approval from the city for a $375,000 loan to spur the move from its current quarters on Benson Avenue. If and when the City Council approves the loan, Flat Earth will move its brewing operation into Building 8, which is the former Hamm’s keg-washing operation. Flat Earth is also looking at Buildings 7 and 9 for future use as a public tap/tasting room and maybe a beer garden.

East Side of Saint Paul Hamm's Brewer

The St. Paul-based microbrewer wants to increase production and expand its distribution network outside of Minnesota. Brews such as Angry Planet Pale Ale and Livid Planet Pale Ale and seasonal favorite Black Helicopter Coffee Stout are popular among Twin Cities beer-drinkers, but there hasn’t been room to produce more. Privately held Flat Earth produced 1,300 barrels of beer in 2012.

Flat Earth will be renovating and retrofitting buildings that have been part of St. Paul’s East Side for about 150 years. Building 9, a former carpentry shop that dates back to 1864 and 1867, is in bad shape, especially after a fire that occurred in 2005. Buildings 7 and 8, erected in...

Twin Cities Real Estate Market Heating Up

twin_cities_real_estate_304A burst of recent reports suggest that the Twin Cities real estate market recovery is outpacing the rest of the nation.

In March, buyers outnumbered sellers, triggering price increases and even bidding wars in some of the Twin Cities metro’s more popular communities and neighborhoods. According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR), during March there were 3,632 closings with a median price of $176,000 — a 17.4% increase over last year and the 13th-consecutive monthly increase in sale prices. Closing sales were flat compared to 2012, but pending sales increased more than 6% despite a 31% decline in inventory that’s causing somewhat of a shortage and holding back even more potential for sales growth.

That shortage also is driving an increase in new home construction, though. In April, housing construction in the Twin Cities has been up more than 110%, making it one of the best Aprils in nearly 10 years. According to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, builders were issued 372 permits to build 817 apartments and single-family houses throughout the 13-county Twin Cities metro area – an increase in planned units of more than 100%. Though 60% of those units are attributed to luxury rentals in two new downtown buildings, shortage of Twin Cities home listings helped boost permits to build single-family houses by nearly 27%.

Foreclosure activity in the Twin Cities metro...

Reggie Award goes to Norton Homes

In October 2012, our long time building partner, Norton Homes, was awarded a Reggie from the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.reggie_award_image_204 This coveted award has been given to Top Minneapolis & St. Paul Builders for more than 40 years and is awarded based on judging by peer-teams of Builders who determine the best examples of excellence in quality, design, value, and construction.

Norton Homes competed in one of the ultra-competitive upper brackets and received the Reggie Award for its  model home in Eden Prairie's prestigeous Enclave neighborhood. We are so proud of Chris Norton for his hard work and dedication to delivering homes of exceptional quality and design!  From starter homes to luxury homes, Contact Us about building your new custom designed home with Norton Homes!


Spring Remodelers Showcase – Twin Cities Parade of Homes 2012

The Spring Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase® is this weekend, from March 30 - April 1. Now in its 25th year, homeowners will find inspired ideas for remodeling their own homes, while getting a chance to interview a range of professional remodelers about their skills.

The tour has opened to the public 68 beautifully remodeled homes in 25 communities across the extended Twin Cities metropolitan area. Virtually every type of remodeling is showcased on the tour, including:

  • 12 whole-house remodels
  • 39 kitchen renovations
  • 19 additions
  • 16 baths
  • 13 lower-level finished

Other projects include decks, porches and exteriors, owners’ suites, mud rooms, home offices, laundry rooms, and garages.

The Remodeler’s Showcase Dream Home is a historic whole-house renovation located in the Southwest Minneapolis Community near Lake Harriet. It was remodeled by Feehan Design & Build, Inc.

The Parade of Homes Spring Remodelers Showcase is presented by Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) and sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors. The tour homes are open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday March 30, and 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. on both Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, April 1. The Remodelers Showcase Guidebooks are available free at all metropolitan area Holiday StationStores. Searching for Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase projects is easy at www.paradeofhomes.org.

Remodeling representatives from 52 firms that performed the work will be on hand at each home to answer questions about...

2012 Minneapolis Home and Garden Show

It is February, so of course, Minnesotans are thinking about spring. And with spring comes home remodeling, decorating, gardening and landscaping. Start planning your projects by attending the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show.

This year’s show dates are February 29 – March 4, 2012 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This event displays the latest fresh ideas in home, gardening, remodeling and home decor. The Minneapolis Home & Garden Show will display stunning gardens, local celebrities and more! Guests will have the chance to meet more than 1,000 experts and view hundreds of booths.

Partnering with this Minneapolis event will be Design Expert Ty Pennington, co-host of ABC’s “The Revolution.” He will be there to share his design expertise to create an environment for a better life. He will offer advice, encouragement and support to help individuals achieve their home-related goals.


Top 10 Saint Paul Real Estate Blog Posts of 2011

There is always something interesting happening in the world of Twin Cities real estate. And we've written about many of those events and stories here at the Homes of Minnesota Saint Paul Real Estate Blog! Read on to find out what our most popular posts were for 2011.

Saint Paul & Minneapolis Residents Happier Than Most

In November, Men’s Health Magazine released a list of 100 American cities and the overall level of happiness of the citizens who live there. Both of the Twin Cities ranked in the top 20, with St. Paul receiving an A- for an overall grade and Minneapolis a B+.

Mid-Century Modern Home Tour in the Twin Cities

Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area have many home tours that occur between spring and fall. Seven mid-century modern homes around the metro were open for public viewing. The Mid-Century Modern Home Tour was self-guided through seven homes that ranged from a Frank Lloyd Wright home to a California modern house with courtyards.

Razing Houses to Improve Housing Stock in the Twin Cities

Too much of Minnesota's housing stock is old and outdated. When homes are beyond the scope of reasonable repair or rebabilitation, it can be more worthwhile to demolish them. South St. Paul's Housing and Redevelopment Authority buys and razes these types of properties as part of a program to clear old lots for new housing.


Saint Paul & Minneapolis Residents Happier Than Most

Men’s Health Magazine recently released a list of 100 American cities and the overall happiness level of their citizens. Would you be surprised to know the Twin Cities ranked in the top 20?

Saint Paul is listed as the eighth happiest city on the list. Its Minneapolis neighbor to the west ranked a less-cheerful-but-still-impressive 14th. St. Paul received an A- for an overall grade, while Minneapolis earned a B+.

The results were calculated using an algorithm that took into account suicide rates, unemployment numbers, antidepressant usage and a measure of people who report feeling “blue”.

The top 10 happiest cities are as follows:

1. Honolulu, HI ~ A+
2. Manchester, NH ~ A
3. Fargo, ND ~ A
4. Omaha, NE ~ A
5. Boston, MA ~ A-
6. Madison, WI ~ A-
7. Sioux Falls, SD ~ A-
8. St. Paul, MN ~ A-
9. Burlington, VT ~ A-
10. Plano, TX ~ A-

The 10 saddest cities, according to Men's Health, are:

91. Las Vegas, NV ~ F
92. Reno, NV ~ F
93. Miami, FL ~ F
94. Birmingham, AL ~ F
95. St. Louis, MO ~ F
96. Louisville, KY ~ F
97. Tampa, FL ~ F
98. Memphis, TN ~ F
99. Detroit, MI ~ F
100. St. Petersburg, FL ~ F

“Men’s Health” says it found that even locations with abundant sunshine and warmth were particularly susceptable to the blues. Researchers also discovered that bike paths and parks play a role in how happy residents are, allowing people to recover from stress and fatigue. Green space and bike paths, of course, are abundant in the Twin Cities.

For the full list, visit menshealth.com/best-life/frown-towns.

Source: ...

August Twin Cities Real Estate Sales Activity Offers Mixed Results

There have been noteworthy shifts for Twin Cities real estate. Buyer activity is increasing, while sellers are making fewer concessions to sell their homes. Falling supply and improving absorption rates in many communities also suggest that the market is regaining its balance.

Aaccording to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, a few indicators posted improvement over August 2010. New Listings in the Twin Cities region decreased 10.7% to 6,144. Pending sales were up 46.4% to 4,358. Inventory levels shrank 21.4% to 23,502 units. The Median Sales Price decreased by 10.9% to $156,000. Days a property typically spent on the market increased 7.4% to 136 days. Absorption rates improved as supply of inventory was down 18.9% to 7.1 months.

Two other recently released reports show mixed information. Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller composite index of 20 major metro markets dropped 4.5% in June from last year. Meanwhile, the U.S. national index released every three months by Case-Shiller, rose 3.6% in June from May but was down nearly 6% year-over-year.

While no one knows exactly why the Twin Cities market is posting such heavy yearly declines, experts suspect foreclosures are the primary culprit. Minnesota, which don't require home foreclosures to go through the court system, may be getting homes back on the market and resold more quickly than other areas.

However, home prices have been ticking up month-to month in the Twin Cities area recently. Spring buying helped increase home prices up for a third straight month in most major U.S. cities in June. The Twin Cities and Chicago led the month-to-month gains among the top 20 metro areas, both markets up 3.2% from May.


Summer Signs of Optimism in Twin Cities Real Estate

Despite continuing economic uncertainty, the housing market in the Twin Cities area showed modest signs of improvement in July.

At the end of the month, pending Twin Cities real estate sales were up 42.7% over the same month of the previous year, when sales were dropping after the tax credit expired for first-time home buyers. It was the third consecutive month of double-digit, year-over-year gains in pending sales, according to data released by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

Home prices have not yet rebounded and a new report suggests that foreclosures will continue to dominate the market. In spite of this, market watchers see reasons to be optimistic.

Declining inventory is the most promising sign. With sellers reluctant to brave the tough market, new listing activity was down 16% in July compared with last year, helping send total inventory down 19% from a year ago. About 24,000 homes are on the market today.

Similar tentatively good news recently came from a report on the Twin Cities housing market from the University of St. Thomas.

The University of St. Thomas’s Real Estate Index, which is based on nine market indicators, increased from 784 in June to 799 in July; the index was 847 in July 2010. While closed sales were up 34 percent compared with last year, the report showed that the median sale prices of all closed sales dropped three percent from June to July, from $165,000 to $160,000.Compared with 2010 prices were down 8.5 percent. Excluding foreclosures and short sales, prices were down only 1.5 percent from June to July and down 10.4 percent from July 2010 to 2011.

The Minnesota Association of Realtors said that throughout the state the number of closed home sales during July was down 33.5% with the median sale price of those deals down 6.5%. These are comparisons to July 2010. Despite an uptick in sales activity this summer, the number of sales...

In-Law Units, Granny Flats and Accessory Dwelling Units

For decades, American houses got bigger and bigger, even as family sizes got smaller and smaller. As the housing market collapsed, including the downturn of the Twin Cities real estate market, and the economy soured, more extended families began sharing space, including unemployed young adults moving back with their parents and financially strapped senior citizens moving in with their grown children.

Author Michael Litchfield thinks this trend will continue, as Americans increasingly question whether they're making the best use of their space. In his new book, "In-laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats" (Taunton Press, $24.95), he shows how to create secondary living spaces -- also called in-law units, granny flats and accessory dwelling units.

Additionally, TATA, which brought a $2500 car to India, is now is taking orders for an entire house (without garage for the tiny car) for $720. That's $3.34 per square foot and perfect for use as a Granny Flat!

Read this Star Tribune article and TreeHugger blog post to learn more about these options.

Additionally, read about locally made Flat Pak houses, one of which is on display at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.


Mixed Results for Recent Twin Cities Residential Sales

For people with the money for a down payment and are able to get a mortgage loan, this summer is turning out to be an excellent time to purchase a Twin Cities home.

Prices plunged 11% in April compared with a year ago, with the Minneapolis –  St. Paul Metro Area continuing to lead declines among major cities. The nation's housing market could be headed for a double-dip fall.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index of 20 cities dropped 4% in April from a year ago, the steepest decline since late 2009. But no metro area prices sank like the Twin Cities, the only one posting a double-digit decline in prices. It was the third straight month the Twin Cities led declines among the country's largest cities, falling 10% in March and 8% in February. There's no clear reason for why Twin Cities home prices have tanked.

[Thomas Musil, a real estate professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul] said "the most plausible explanation" was that the home buyer tax credit that expired at the end of April last year pushed activity higher, so that this year's numbers, without the benefit of the tax credit, are unusually low by comparison.

Musil speculated that it's possible lenders are more efficient in selling off the foreclosure inventory in the Twin Cities market than other places.

In related news, existing homes may get a boost from higher sales prices of new homes. Nationwide, the median sales price of new homes rose 2.6% from April to $222,600. That's more than 30% higher than the median sales of price of older, re-sale homes. Though there are many benefits to owning a brand new home, purchasing an existing home also has its benefits.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if it is the best time for you to be buying a home. With new or existing homes priced low and interest rates at historic lows, it could be the right time for...

Some good news for Twin Cities real estate in May

The local real estate market is making some progress, according to data released by a Twin Cities Realtor organization.

Figures from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors show that pending sales for May 2011 were up 13.2% from the year before, with 4,428 contracts signed. Part of the improvement is due to a drop in pending sales in May of last year, following the end of the federal first time home buyer tax credit.

Though the median sale price of homes decreased 12.6% to $152,950, the median sale price of non-distressed properties rose 1.4% to $200,700. Foreclosure prices were down 16.4% to $104,450, and short sale prices were down 5.6% to $135,000.

About 4,968 non-distressed properties entered the market in May 2011, more than the 4,202 of May 2010. Distressed properties - foreclosed homes or those bought as short sales - accounted for about a third of all new listings in May, the lowest percentage in more than a year.

"Both the foreclosure rate and the distressed-sales rate hit 7-month lows in May." said Brad Fisher, president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. "It is reassuring to have more traditional product entering the market relative to other segments, as today's new listings are tomorrow's closings."

All of this is welcome news for both Twin Cities real estate professionals and home sellers in the area.


Foreclosure News in the Twin Cities

March was dismal for home sales in the Twin Cities area real estate market - except for when it comes to foreclosures. Sales of homes in foreclosure rose dramatically compared to the same month of 2010.

The number of signed purchase agreements in March was down compared to the year before, mainly because the first time home buyer tax credit was still stimulating the market at the time. There was a big drop-off last month in the number of homebuyers who didn't want a foreclosure or short sale. In fact, sales of foreclosure homes surged about 30%.

Additionally, a large portion of foreclosure home buyers were investors ready with cash. Several years ago, only about 3-7% of home purchases were made with cash. But in February and March of 2011, that number was closer to 25-30%.

"Typically when I purchase homes they're bank-owned foreclosures. They've been neglected in some cases, they were at one point condemned. Many of them need a significant amount of work," said Jennifer Olstad, owner of Tupino, Inc., which stands for "Turning Ugly Properties Into Nice Ones." In the past year, Olstad has purchased five properties with cash and sold three of them to first-time homebuyers.

In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, city officials often prefer that people who buy homes also live in them because the downturn particularly affected rental units. The idea is that owner-occupants have more incentive to keep up the property, but communities do need a variety of housing options. Additionally, "house-flippers" do perform a service to neighborhoods when they take otherwise vacant, blighted properties, beautify them, make repairs and sell them to new owners.

One downside to this picture is that first-time homebuyers can't compete against the investors'...

2011 Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour

The 2011 Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour is coming up this weekend. Homes on the free, self-guided tour will be open Saturday, April 30, from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, May 1, from 1 pm to 5 pm.

The Minneapolis & St. Paul Home Tour is coordinated by Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) and the City of Saint Paul Planning and Economic Development department with other corporate and non-profit sponsors. On the tour of “real homes, real people, real ideas,” residents open their doors to show creative and practical ideas for home additions, kitchens, bathrooms and more. Visitors can talk directly with homeowners and find out what it’s like to live there. At many homes, their contractors, architects, and other trades people will also be on hand to answer questions.

Additionally, at 1:30 p.m. on each day, Bev Fiman will lead a walking tour of a few blocks in the Minneapolis Folwell neighborhood, stepping off from 3405 Humboldt Ave. N. Fiman has conducted tours at the Purcell Cutts house and is an architecture enthusiast. The tour route will highlight elements of various housing styles which brought the working people’s homes in this neighborhood dignity and distinction.


Twin Cities Homes Prices Decreased in March

The median prices for Twin Cities homes sold during the month of March fell more than 15% to $140,000 from the previous year, according to a report from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

The residential real estate price decrease is accompanied by a 4% drop in the number of closed sales for the 13-county metro area to 3,154 in March 2011 versus March 2010.

"Foreclosure sales accounted for roughly 40 percent of (pending sales) and 43 percent of closings," said Brad Fisher, president of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, in a statement. "While those market shares are in line with recent trends, they're still higher than what we would like to see."

Foreclosure sales are having a depressing effect on the residential real estate market by flooding it with cheap, available properties. The price of traditionally sold homes decreased 4% last month to $192,000 compared to last year. At the same time, foreclosure prices decreased 11% to $105,000 and short sale prices decreased 7% to $134,950.


Though March is the beginning of the home sale season and activity during this time tends to wind up, pending home sales fell nearly 18% from March 2010 to 4,162 purchase agreements signed in March 2011. Though that seems huge, in March 2010 people were scrambling to take last minute advantage of the first time home buyer federal income tax credit incentive. March 2011 sales were up 3% when compared to March 2009 and up 17% from March 2008.

Another tentatively good sign is that inventory is shrinking, which may help prices become more stabile. Sellers placed 6,977 properties on the real estate market in March 2011, about 30% fewer than in March 2011. Inventory levels as a whole diminished nearly 5% to 24,112 units. That...

Spring Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase ~ 2011

This weekend is the 24th annual Spring Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase. This is a unique opportunity to tour 69 actual remodeled homes in 26 communities throughout the Twin Cities metro.

This event is presented by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities Remodelers Council. The showcase homes will be open Friday April 1 from 1-7pm, and Saturday and Sunday April 2-3 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm. Admission is free (except for a Dream Remodeled Homes) to the general public. Remodeling representatives will be on hand to answer questions. All 57 professional remodeling firms showcased on the tour are members of the Council.

Homes are open in 26 communities across the Twin Cities area. Minneapolis has 12 homes on the tour and 8 are in Edina.  Other homes are located all around the metro, from Andover to Woodbury.

Practically every type of remodeling job is showcased on the tour, including 16 whole-house remodels, 47 kitchen renovations, 24 additions, 12 baths and 12 lower-level finishes. Other projects featured include decks, porches and exteriors, owners’ suites, mud rooms, home offices, laundry rooms and garages.

The two Dream Homes were selected as this spring’s Builders Outreach Foundation Dream Remodeled Homes. Both were whole-house remodels. One home in Minneapolis is by House Lift and one in St. Paul by Ispiri, LLC. A $5.00 donation is requested to the Foundation, the charitable arm of BATC, with all proceeds used to build homes for families who otherwise couldn’t afford one.

Guidebooks are available free at all metro area Holiday StationStores or online. The Remodelers Showcase has a Calendar of Events, from educational to inspirational these events are held at Remodelers Showcase homes, offices and showrooms. Find out more online at www.paradeofhomes.org.

This weekend is also the last opportunity...

Twin Cities Parade of Homes Spring Preview ~ 2011

On March 5, the Parade of Homes Spring Preview opened the doors to model homes and neighborhoods across the Twin Cities.

The Parade of Homes offers access to 342 new homes and communities located in 74 cities throughout the Minneapolis - St. Paul Metro Area. There are 146 builders and developers participating in the 2011 installation of the annual event. There is a total value of $163,076,794 in houses on tour, encompassing 865,986 finished square feet for viewing. There are a total of 1,216 bedrooms and 1,060 bathrooms open to tour.

Homes on the tour are various in price and location; there is sure to be something for everyone. Five are priced below $150,000. About 70% of the entries, a total of 229 homes, are priced below $500,000. Seventeen homes are priced over $1,000,000, with two of those priced at over $3,000,000.

New this time is an Energy Efficient Home Tour, with 94 verified homes, which gives visitors a chance to tour a wide variety of energy efficient homes.  The newly built Twin Cities houses incorporate innovative energy-saving materials, construction methods and designs. These energy-savers also range of prices and styles, from a $138,000 multi-level townhouse in Rosemount to a $1.5 million lakeside retreat in Hugo.

Finally, visit the Dream Homes - three truly unparalleled homes to tour. The $5.00 donation at the door helps the Builders Outreach Foundation continue its mission of promoting homeownership through affordable housing and to contribute to the revitalization of communities.

The residences on the Parade of Homes Tour are open Thursday - Sunday through April 3.

For more information, visit www.paradeofhomes.org.

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