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 www.ParadeOfHomes.org.

.  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 ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.