Should You Buy a New Construction Home in the Twin Cities?

Answer These 5 Essential Questions First

Are you considering buying a new construction home in the Twin Cities because you’re tired of looking for a new home and finding few listing that meet your needs?

Have you lost out on getting a home you loved because so the competition for homes is so fierce?

Are you considering buying a new construction home but don’t know if it’s right for you?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, read on.


In this blog I share five essential questions that will help you determine if a new construction home the right choice for you.

And don’t miss my pro tip where I reveal the number one regret buyers have about buying or building a new construction home in the Twin Cities.

Question 1: Where do you want to live?

The first question you’ll need to answer when considering a new construction home is, where do you want to live? Because you can change almost anything about a house but it’s location. Once it’s built, it’s built.

And while there is some infill building going on in the core Twin Cities, most of the new construction is taking place in the third ring suburbs. All of those developments are 40 minutes or more from the core cities, so if you’re going to be commuting to work in either Minneapolis or St. Paul, that’s something you’ll need to consider.

Question 2: What kind of lifestyle are do you want?

Do you want to live on a quiet cu de sac and have a large yard? Or do you want to be able to walk to shops and restaurants. 

Again, this is kind of the second part of the location question since most new building is happening in the suburbs. If you’re looking for walkability, new construction might not be right for you.

Question 3: How soon do you want to move?

When you buy an existing home, you can generally plan on moving within 60 days. But if you decide to build a new home, you may have to wait 6 months to a year before you can move into your new home. Especially since covid, builders are struggling with supply chain and labor shortages that are pushing their completion timelines out.

Question 4: How do you feel about HOAs?

Many new construction home are being built in planned communities that are governed by a HOAs. These associations often charge monthly or annual fees for maintaining the community assets, and they also establish rules for the community, such as what color you can paint the exterior of your home and the type of plantings you can have in your yard. Some people like the predictability and uniformity of HOAs and others feel constricted. It just depends on which type of person you are?

Question 5: How involved do you want to be in the building and design process?

How involved do you want to be in the build and design process of your new home. This answer to this question is about what type of new home you might want to purchase,and about how

many decisions you are comfortable making. If you’re buying a already built model home, you be purchasing  a new home but “as is,”much like buying an existing home.

If you decide to on a custom-built home, you’ll be making decisions on almost everything, from countertops to paint colors to light switches. It can be a lot of pressure if you don’t feel confident about your design skills. 

Pro Tip: The number one buyer regret

And now for my insider tip. The number one regret new construction buyers have is not researching the community before buying their new home. This just emphasizes my first point, where live is just as important as the house you live in.

Still not sure if new construction is right for you? Check out next week’s blog post where I talk about the three main types of home builders and what you can expect when buying a home from each.

J Trout Lowen is a Minneapolis Realtor and an expert at helping buyers and sellers navigate the Twin Cities housing market.

Looking for more information on buying new constructions? Check my other two videos on this topic: 3 Types of New Home Builders Explained and 5 Steps to Buying New Construction.

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