Home Tours Across the State

Housing First Minnesota’s Parade of Homes Twin Cities will complete its 70th year at the close of 2018. This fall, the scattered home tour features 427 new homes for consumers to visit, free of charge, all across the metro. An additional 55 remodeled homes open the final weekend during the Remodelers Showcase.

Although the popularity of home tours and the benefits to the housing industry has remained steady over the years, the Parade of Homes’ marketing plan has evolved over the past several decades.

“In the early years, we used newspapers, radio, TV and basic guidebooks to promote our Parade,” said David Siegel, executive director for Housing First Minnesota. “Now, we combine radio and TV with sophisticated guidebooks rich in editorial content in both print and digital form and extend our marketing reach with targeted digital advertising and social media. Our website is an outstanding resource for our tours themselves, as well as providing year-round content for anyone looking for resources and inspiration about new homes and remodeling.”

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All across Minnesota, home tours presented by local builder associations give the public the opportunity to see the latest from their local builders and remodelers. They also provide industry partners the opportunity to showcase new products, designs and technology to consumers as they see the latest in new construction and remodeling.

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Housing Day at the Fair

The rain didn’t stop the housing industry from joining together to have a great day at the fair. The Minnesota REALTORS®, Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®, the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS ® and Housing First Minnesota brought their members together to network, learn, and have fun at the state fair.

The associations held activities and giveaways at the Horton Pavillions at Heffron Park along with several educational talks and roundtables.

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How to Make the Most of Home Energy Rating System Scores

A home’s Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is a great way to entice homebuyers. But how do you explain a HERS score to a buyer? RESNET is developing marketing tools to assist certified RESNET HERS Raters and their builder clients in marketing the HERS Index to consumers.

As part of this effort, RESNET offers free consumer marketing pieces on the HERS Index. The RESNET HERS Index tools are designed to help HERS Raters and their builder partners effectively promote HERS Ratings to prospective homebuyers. The tools are customizable, allowing builders to insert their company logos, information and contact information. Raters can download customizable brochures, HERS Index yard signs and HERS Index videos.

Minnesota Ranks Fourth in Energy Efficiency

In a new report from the National Renewable Energy Research Laboratory (NREL), Minnesota had the fourth lowest average HERS Index in the United States behind Montana, Maine and Vermont. The report looked at the overall penetration of the HERS Index in the U.S. housing market and revealed that in 2017, 23 percent of all completed new homes in the U.S. were HERS rated, a 1 percent increase from the percentage of homes that were HERS Rated in 2016.

With 35 percent of new homes HERS Rated, Minnesota ranked 11th in the country for number of homes rated. Minnesota’s average HERS Index was 51, a clear sign that homebuilders in the state build quality, energy-efficient homes.

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Housing Market Report: Year-To-Date Single- Family Construction in Select Cities

Housing Market Report: Year-To-Date Single- Family Construction in Select Cities

Year-to-date Single-family construction is down nearly 2 percent in the state, but is up 4 percent in the Twin Cities metro. The summer months saw a slight loosening of the existing housing market with inventory finally ticking up and buyers slowing down. But there continues to be a serious housing shortage in Minnesota especially at the entry-level price point where multiple offers are still being seen.

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Impact Fees Stuck Down by Supreme Court

Impact Fees Stuck Down by Supreme Court

Harstad v. Woodbury: A Landmark Victory For Housing Affordability, Industry

The Minnesota Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that is a major victory for the housing industry and housing affordability. In its much-awaited decision in the Harstad v. Woodbury case, on Aug. 15 the Court upheld 20 years of legal precedent, saying cities have limited authority to tax new housing developments.

In the Court’s ruling, Justice G. Barry Anderson wrote: “Put another way, the pearl of great price here is approval of the subdivision agreement. A developer who fails to make a ‘voluntary’ payment in an amount Woodbury finds acceptable faces the prospect of denial of the subdivision application. The infrastructure charge is thus a requirement and Harstad is correct that there is nothing voluntary about it.”

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Housing First Minnesota PAC Endorses 48 Legislative Candidates

Housing First Minnesota PAC Endorses 48 Legislative Candidates

The Housing First Minnesota’s Political Action Committee (PAC) is proud to endorse a record forty-nine candidates for election and re-election to the Minnesota legislature. Housing First Minnesota’s PAC endorsement reflects each candidate’s commitment to a vibrant housing market that ties together the communities of our great state.

These candidates represent growth in the Housing Caucus, which is comprised of legislative leaders who are committed to our goal of building safe, smart and durable homes at a price that Minnesotans can afford. The Housing First Minnesota PAC endorsement process utilized a candidate questionnaire, analysis of a candidate’s voting record, personal interviews for first-time candidates and proven demonstration for Housing First Minnesota’s policy platform. We look forward to working with these housing champions in the 2019 legislative session.

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Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling A Landmark Victory For Housing Industry

Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling A Landmark Victory For Housing Industry

The Minnesota Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that a major victory for the housing industry and housing affordability. In its much-awaited decision in the Harstad v. Woodbury case on Wednesday, Aug. 15, the Court upheld 20 years of legal precedent, sayings cities have limited authority to tax new housing developments.

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Housing First Minnesota Leads In Providing Industry Input On Building Code Report

Housing First Minnesota Leads In Providing Industry Input On Building Code Report

Following the June 26 meeting of the Construction Codes Advisory Council (CCAC), the Department of Labor & Industry released a report that included comments and concerns made voiced by the CCAC members regarding the initial technical review of model code changes earlier this year. The report also included comments submitted by organizations following the release of the Technical Advisory Group Reports in mid-May.

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Rep. Bob Vogel Discusses Housing Regulation Reform

Rep. Bob Vogel Discusses Housing Regulation Reform

Q: Minnesota is experiencing a housing affordability crisis. Why did you author HF3044 to help address the regulatory burdens facing homebuyers?

Rep. Vogel: I realize there are many factors driving the cost increases, and although regulations at the state level are only part of those drivers, they play a significant part. The bill introduced this year was revised from the previous one HF1001, because there was so much pushback by state regulatory agencies saying the legislature should not have a major part with writing regulations and rules.


With the hope of overcoming those objections HF 3044 put more emphasis on breaking down silos between agencies by using an overall net effect of cost increase, and then only notifying the legislature of changes if they were over a the threshold. The hope was by addressing some of the previous year’s concerns the governor would then be able to support the bill. Unfortunately, the agencies still opposed the changes so the effort to build partnerships between agencies to better control costs and get them working together more closely needs to continue.

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Second Home for MACV Underway

The BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation along with build partner Lennar kicked off the construction of a home to be donated to Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) with a special groundbreaking in April. Organization leaders and elected officials joined together to celebrate the construction of the new home in Maplewood, the second the Foundation is building for MACV.

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