We moved to Minnesota February 2015 but started the relocation process in January. We had a difficult time deciding what city to move to. My family lived on the Minneapolis side of the Twin Cities, but David’s job was primarily on the Saint Paul side. Ideally, we wanted to in Minneapolis, but we also hated the idea of a terrible commute for David in such a new place with a new baby.
David’s company hooked us up with a realtor that took us throughout the entire Twin Cities just so we can see what we can get for our money on both ends. There was one neighborhood we loved in a city called Maple Grove. We found a builder whose homes really connected with us in terms of layouts and interior design. We decided on which model we would want and were very close to making a decision and putting down a downpayment and picking out our lot to get the process started. Something just didn’t feel right to both me and David, so we had our realtor take us to the Saint Paul side one last time, to the city of Woodbury to be more specific. Woodbury is an old suburb, but it growing tremendously. It actually reminded us of the suburb we lived in in Oregon. When we were out and about with our realtor she told us that the builder we loved in Maple Grove also happened to be all over Woodbury. We went to checkout the different subdivisions, and sure enough found one that had the model home we loved in Maple Grove.
After talking with their sales agent, taking a tour of the neighborhood, and hearing how much lower the price was for not only the home but the lot as well, we decided that we could get a lot more for our money in Woodbury plus David wouldn’t have an awful commute. We chose our lot, signed some papers, and started the process of building our third home!
Since we truly planned on being in this house forever, we thought it was best to be careful about what we paid for through the builder versus what David could do on his own. We brought the value up just from a few upgrades and additions. Lots of people asked us why we just didn’t purchase a fixer upper since we were doing all of these changes on something new, but we realized that it is much easier to fix/change/upgrade/update on a new build compared to a pre-existing home. At least that is what we are discovering now, but I will get to that later!
We decided David would build us the mud room we were envisioning for hundreds of dollars instead of thousands. We were not a fan of the counter options for the bathrooms, so we went with the free cheap looking counters and later got them redone how we wanted them. We went with somebody other than the builder for our deck. David built the dog run and the beautiful nursery, and he even framed our entire basement.
We were really really proud of this house. In fact, we loved it so much that we almost moved to a suburb of Chicago just because they had the same builder and model that we lived in in MN. We figured our furniture would fit and we can just pretty much copy what we did. We obviously didn’t end up doing that, and decided a fixer upper was a better decision for us right now. I will let you know if we regret that when we are done with the renovation!
*I can’t seem to find any of the photos from the “finished projects” of this home, if you want to see better photos you can check out the old listing. Last time we looked, there were still tons of photos on there!