The Parade of Homes is underway and we have five builders in Chisago County hoping you will visit their model home and decide to build a new home with them. If you are confused as to how to select a builder, you can be represented by a real estate agent with new construction experience. Your agent will need to be present at the first meeting you have with a builder.

 The Builder’s Association offers the top six reasons a new home is better. 1: New homes are typically more energy efficient, which can save up to 20% in energy bills. 2: They are safer and healthier with interconnected smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and radon mitigation systems. 3: Smart technology; including lighting, security, entertainment, and more, can be managed from your smart phone or tablet while you are away from home. 4: New homes are more comfortable with silent floors, better roofing, windows, and doors. They are less drafty and reduce dust and mold allergens. 5: You get to make your own design and material selections. 6: Everything is new and warranties are in place to reduce maintenance costs for years to come.

 The price range for the Chisago County Parade Homes is from $299,900 to $369,900. The price per square foot ranges from $132-$237 depending on lot costs, style and finishes. If you compare the same price range for the non-lakeshore homes in Chisago County, the average price per square foot is $127 and the average lot size is 7.2 acres. In this price range there are also lake or riverfront homes available. I advise my clients to consider lifestyle, location, and investment before buying a new or existing home. Timing is also a factor as it can easily be 6 months from contract to closing for your new home. Your home can be a very emotional purchase so take your time and analyze your options with an experienced real estate agent.

 The Parade of Homes is open Thursdays – Sundays noon to 6pm, February 20th through March 20th. There are 4 Dream Homes in the Parade of Homes this year, ranging in price from $1,625,000 – $2,300,000. The closest one is in the Lowry Hill neighborhood in Minneapolis and the most expensive home is in Edina. More information is available at

.  Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.