New Construction

Exploring Alternative Home Building: The Rise of Off-Site Construction Methods

5 Innovative Home Building Methods Revolutionizing Affordability

When most of us think of building a new home, we imagine it is constructed onsite. But did you know many new homes today are built off-site and transported to their location? This shift could be the key to solving the affordable housing crisis.

When envisioning the construction of a new home, images of workers on-site, framing out structures with lumber, and the rhythmic sound of hammers are what typically come to mind. This traditional method, known as stick-built construction, has dominated the housing industry for years. However, it's no longer the only option on the table. As we grapple with a nationwide affordable housing shortage, off-site construction methods like manufactured modular homes and panelized systems are stepping into the spotlight, offering a promising solution to improve housing affordability.

Understanding the Shift in Home Building

When most of us think of building a new home, we imagine it is constructed onsite. Yet, this traditional image is being transformed by innovative construction methods. Manufactured homes, modular constructions, and panelized housing are changing perceptions and making homeownership more accessible to many.

Manufactured Housing: A Cost-Effective Solution

Manufactured homes, once known as mobile homes, are constructed in factories and assembled on-site. These homes are built on steel frames and come with all necessary installations, such as plumbing and electrical systems. Upon arrival at their permanent location, they are placed on a foundation and made ready for occupancy. Governed by federal standards set by HUD, manufactured homes offer a streamlined, efficient approach to housing.

Modular Housing: Quality and Customization

Modular homes are also factory-built but are constructed in sections or...

Building A New Home In Minnesota

Building A New Home In Minnesota

So you decided to take the plunge and buy a home - great!  One of the options you should consider if you haven't already done so is a brand new home!  When you consider new construction vs. previously owned certainly there are pros and cons on both sides of the equation.  Let's take a look at what I consider my top 8 reasons for buying a newly constructed home.

Building a Home in the Twin Cities

Buy or build a new home in the Twin Cities and you get to make all the choices, every single one! You choose the lot, the style of home, floor plan, builder, and all of the finishes touches that will make this house truly your home. Depending on the builder, development, real estate agent and price point you are comfortable with, you can have as little or as much input as you desire. In the kitchen, you select the cabinets, countertops, appliances you have always wanted.  The bathroom fixtures will be up to you, and the style of the doors and windows.  And of course, you select all the flooring, light fixtures, and colors!  You can decide how you want to allocate your allowances.  Perhaps you want the top of the line windows, kitchen cabinets, floor coverings and are willing to spend less on light fixtures and doors. 

Pros of Buying a New Home 

Many builders use much safer materials than ever before. It is common for builders to use flame retardant carpeting, insulation, sheetrock and doors as well as a radon mitigation system. It is also required that they have the hard-wired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.  It's important to feel you and your family are safe in your new home!

Building your own home  in MN gives you more options

Imagine controlling your home lights in every room and setting your heat or air conditioning remotely from your smartphone or tablet. Or managing your security system...

Pros and Cons of Being an Owner-Builder

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Building Your Own Home

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Building Your Own Home

Building your own home often brings to mind simpler DIY projects, like assembling furniture or following YouTube tutorials for minor repairs. Home improvement tasks like painting or installing backsplashes are common, but taking on the contractor role for a new home build is an entirely different challenge. Some daring individuals embark on this journey primarily to save the considerable fees of hiring a general contractor. This cost-saving is often the key to affording their dream home.

Advantages of Being Your Own Home Contractor

Significant Cost Savings

Hiring a general contractor can add 15% to 25% to the cost of building a new home. On a $500,000 project, this could mean $100,000 in contractor fees alone. Although a professional contractor can secure discounts and handle permits, their fees are a substantial expense.

Complete Control

Managing your build gives you total authority over every decision, from choosing materials to hiring subcontractors. This control can lead to a home that truly matches your vision.

Quality of Work

As an owner-builder, you can afford to hire top-notch contractors, ensuring a high-quality build. Those with building experience can further save costs by contributing labor.

Personal Experiences and Success Stories

I know someone who, with carpentry skills and a network of trade-savvy friends and family, built their dream home for a fraction of the usual cost. While not common, this hands-on approach can lead to significant savings and a deep sense of accomplishment.

Disadvantages of Being Your Own Home Contractor

Financial Risks

Cost overruns due to inexperience or unexpected expenses can erode the anticipated savings.

Time and Effort

Building your own home typically takes longer and can be more...

Building Green

Eco-Friendly Real Estate with Joe Houghton

Eco-Friendly Real Estate with Joe Houghton

2024, Twin Cities Metro Area

Leading the Way in Sustainable Living

In 2024, Joe Houghton stands at the forefront of the Twin Cities Metro Area real estate market as a beacon for sustainable living and eco-friendly housing. With his EcoBroker Certified® designation, Joe is not just a realtor; he's a visionary in the green real estate movement. His dedication to building green has transformed the way homes are bought and sold, focusing on energy efficiency, sustainable design, and healthier living spaces.

The EcoBroker Advantage

Joe's journey into the realm of sustainable housing is fueled by his comprehensive understanding of the environmental and energy issues that affect real estate transactions. By completing a rigorous training program, Joe has equipped himself with the knowledge to guide eco-conscious buyers towards purchasing new construction homes that align with their values of environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Performance Homes and Green Real Estate

The rise of the "performance home" movement owes much to eco-minded real estate professionals like Joe. With his EcoBroker designation, he is part of a national wave of agents creating a market for homes that not only promise a smaller carbon footprint but also offer competitive advantages to homeowners. Considering that 80% of consumers identify as environmentally conscious, real estate agents with an EcoBroker certification are perfectly positioned to meet the demands of today's green-minded homebuyers.

Why Choose an EcoBroker?

EcoBroker International's specialized education and designation program cater exclusively to...

Home Construction 101

Home Construction 

Suppose you consider the possibility of new home construction in the Minneapolis Metro area of Minnesota. In that case, an excellent place to start is to understand the process of building a new home. Here is a synopsis of what you need to know to become fluent in new home construction. This information is specifically written for the Twin Cities Metro area of MN. Still, it can also serve as a great source of information for building a new home in all of Minnesota.

Home Construction Basics for the Twin Cities Metro

Knowing how a house is built is essential to consider custom buildings in the Minneapolis and St. Paul Metro. But even if you are planning to buy a spec or tract home, it never hurts to educate yourself on the fundamentals of the process. Knowing how things work is always wise. In addition to online education, it is good to speak with a Realtor who is also a new home construction specialist in the Western Suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Home Building Team

It may not take a village to build a house, but it does take a team. Other than the Real Estate Agent, the major players in new home construction are the developer (home in a subdivision), the architect, the builder, the design consultant, contractors, and building inspectors. When the new construction team works well together, things can go smoothly. However, mistakes can easily disrupt the home-building process if this team has a weak link. Before your MN home builder begins construction, they must obtain permits from the City you are building in. These home building permits will cover everything from the type of home you will create, the site's contour, septic system if required, digging a well if you do not have city or town water, construction of the home, plumbing, etc. electrical systems. You must also make sure you are not violating any zoning laws.

Preparing the House Lot

Once the permits are approved, and the lot has been engineered...

Best Builder MN

Best Builder MN 2022

Building a home in Minnesota is an emotional experience. Choosing the best home builder for your MN home is an essential piece of the puzzle. Excitement, happiness, fear, and anxiousness are in the mix. You will have hundreds of choices. Depending on the builder and team you choose, you can be involved every step of the way. 

How to Find the Best Builder MN 2022

Once you settle on the type of home and the design, you are ready to spend hours on Pinterest looking at kitchens, bathrooms, and paint colors. Take a deep breath. As fun as heading straight for the end game can be, you have a crucial decision to make first that will impact the process of building your home hugely. You need to hire the best builder for your Twin Cities MN home.

Hiring the Builder in 2022

Hiring the right custom builder is one of the most important decisions you will make throughout the home building process. Don’t rush through the vetting process. Do your research, and prepare a list of questions. The contractor you choose can make the process a success or an unqualified disaster.

Make a List of Potential MN Home Builders

  • When looking for any service provider, the first step is to ask family and friends for suggestions. If they have not worked with any builders, perhaps they have friends or acquaintances that know of one they would recommend.
  • Contact the home builders association in your state or area for a list of local builders.
  • If you know a local real estate professional whose opinion you trust, hit them up for suggestions.
  • If you know anyone that works in the building trades, most definitely seek their counsel.
  • Houzz.com is an excellent resource for finding contractors and builders.
  • Ask your Google assistant for a list of builders in your area.

Trim the List of Home Builders

Now that you have the names of a few builders, check out their websites....

How to Choose the Best Home Builder

How to Choose the Best Home Builder

Building a home in Minnesota is an emotional experience. Excitement, happiness, fear, and anxiousness are in the mix. You’re about to get your dream home, with all the choices from home design through the paint color in your bedroom dictated by your taste and style. Once you settle on the type of home and the design, you are ready to spend hours on Pinterest looking at kitchens, bathrooms, and paint colors. Take a deep breath. As fun as heading straight for the end game can be, you have a crucial decision to make first that will impact the process of building your home hugely. You need to hire a builder. 

Hiring a Custom Home Builder in MN

Hiring the right custom builder in MN is one of the most important decisions you will make throughout the home building process. Don’t rush through the vetting process. Do your research, and prepare a list of questions. The contractor you choose can make the process a success or an unqualified disaster.

Top tips to choosing a Twin Cities Builder

  • Seek Recommendations and Make a List of Potential Builders
  • When looking for any service provider, the first step is to ask family and friends for suggestions. If they have not worked with any builders, perhaps they have friends or acquaintances that know of one they would recommend.
  • Contact the home builders association in your state or area for a list of local builders.
  • If you know a real estate professional whose opinion you trust, hit them up for suggestions.
  • If you know anyone that works in the building trades, most definitely seek their counsel.
  • Houzz.com is an excellent resource for finding contractors and builders.
  • Ask your Google assistant for a list of builders in your area.

Narrow...