Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

Est. 2014

Our Team

Sean Baker Editor

William Forsman Photographer

Bryan Lund Reporter

Building a new home in the area? The Enclave Team of RE/MAX Results is here to help

Building a new home in the area? The Enclave Team of RE/MAX Results is here to help

When the time came for Annette and Akhilesh Pandey to relocate to Rochester, they knew they wanted to find a home that would be right for raising their children. For them, that meant a spacious, modern house with a large yard and woods in the back. But after looking at more than 30 homes, they decided the best way to land their dream home was to build one themselves.

With the help of their real estate agent, Kim Gordon, with the Enclave Team of RE/MAX Results, they began the process of mapping out their vision. Since they were unfamiliar with the area, and would not be moving to Rochester full-time until the home was completed, they relied on Kim to help them navigate the entire process. “Anything is possible” when it comes to building a new house, Kim tells us. “It’s all a matter of staying within budget ... and then taking the time to listen, so they are able to build the house of their dreams.”

The Enclave Team works extensively in the area of new construction, so Kim was able to leverage her network and expertise to ensure everything came together, even as Annette and Akhilesh were hundreds of miles away. When the couple did find time to visit Rochester, Kim, who grew up locally, went a step further than simply recommending the right contractors and materials. She also spent time introducing them to the community, showing them where the schools were, and where the best spot was to buy groceries. “We wanted to give them the inside view to Rochester, so they felt more comfortable about moving here,” says Kim.

Today, Akhilesh and Annette are settled into their new home in northeast Rochester. We recently had the opportunity to catch up with them and hear first-hand about their experience building a home from the ground up. Below is a transcript of our conversation with them.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. To start off, what brought you to Rochester?

I am an art teacher and was teaching high school art in the Howard County Public School System in Maryland. My husband Akhilesh is a physician-scientist and was at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. We had lived in Maryland for 16 years before we moved to Rochester. Mayo Clinic brought us to Rochester as my husband was eager to translate biomedical discoveries into medical practice and he believed that Mayo provided an ideal opportunity to do this. I was also happy to try a new location in the U.S. and Minnesota was quite an attractive option as it reminded me of my home in Scandinavia.

After you began searching for homes in the area, what led you to decide to build a new home?

Our realtor Kim Gordon probably showed us 30 homes but we could still not find the modern look that we wanted. Having a wooded lot was also on our wish list but was hard to find. That is when we realized that we might have it all if we built our own home. We had never done this, so we were sitting in Maryland and trying to find a builder in Rochester. Based on our internet searches, we were convinced that we had found our ideal builder and asked Kim to set up a meeting just as a formality. However, Kim recommended that we see at least one other builder before deciding. So the next day, we met with Denny and Kathy Einck of Maplewood Homes in their private home, which was also a model home. That meeting changed everything and today we own a beautiful home.

Did any challenges arise during the process? If so, what advice would you give to others considering building a new home?

Although some of our friends suggested it in passing, we realized the hard way that building a home is not for the faint-hearted. There are so many choices to make and many are time sensitive. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that most of the decisions involve things about which we have no experience. Along the way, I probably gave up a few times but my husband would not let go and was always the enthusiastic one. In the end, it was all well worth it and we are happy that we chose to get our home custom-built. The major piece of advice that we would give to anyone is to insist on a detailed written timeline, including a list of decisions to be made and the corresponding deadlines.

Now that you are comfortably living in your home, what do you enjoy about it?

We love everything about it – one could say, obviously, because we are the ones who approved what should happen in the first place. In any case, it is everything that we envisioned. We love the modern look, the fun interior lights, the color choices and the wooded back?

If you could, would you mind talking about how working with an agent – as opposed to doing it all yourself – made this process easier for the two of you?

We were new to all this so having an agent was very helpful. Since we were out of state, Kim surveyed homes initially for us, and later, was on the lookout for land that was suitable as per our needs. She also took videos and sent them to us so that we could narrow down our choices even before we came on short trips to make choices and decisions. Once the construction began, Kim had regular contact with the builder to ensure that goals were met in a timely fashion. She was also a great resource when things were getting delayed. She passed along the experience of her own team in similar situations, which helped allay our anxiety a bit. She was organized and always dependable, which made our life a lot easier.

Story published in partnership with:

Third annual Investor & Innovator Forum returns to Rochester on August 1

Third annual Investor & Innovator Forum returns to Rochester on August 1

 Salty, sweet, and savory: The secrets behind Porch's signature fried chicken

Salty, sweet, and savory: The secrets behind Porch's signature fried chicken