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Tips to help you enjoy Spring Parade of Homes

The first week of the Spring Parade of Homes is in the books and it looks like we're in for another great event. The weather has been consistent and, if the first week was any indication, crowds will continue to grow as the Parade progresses.

Each year, we print a primer for Parade attendees tips to maximize your enjoyment. For the benefit of veteran and rookie attendees, the

Manitoba Home Builders' Association offers the following tips for a successful Parade:

Wear comfortable slip-on shoes: There are 124 fantastic new homes to visit. Although you likely won't get to all of them, you will find yourself trying to get to as many as possible. Many neighbourhoods have multiple homes being shown and you will probably park in one location and walk to others. Upon entering each new home, you must take off your street shoes to tour. Given that some neighbourhoods have over 10 homes open for viewing and you don't want to miss a thing, that's a lot of bending and lacing.

Therefore, be sure to wear a comfortable walking shoe that easily slips on and off. It will make your visit that much more enjoyable.

Map a strategy: If you have a particular destination, make sure you look for additional homes along the way to visit. Many subdivisions are in close proximity to each other and it's easy to get to a number in one tour.

Don't forget the one-offs: Although there is tremendous variety in those subdivisions that have multiple homes, make sure to visit areas with a single listing. There are entire new neighbourhoods to discover and builders with unique designs. That hidden gem might just be your next new home.

Talk to the agents: The sales agents know their show homes. Ask them about anything: unique features, energy savings, specific materials and what makes this particular home special. They are a wealth of knowledge and, if they don't have the answer, they will find out and get back to you in short order.

Have fun: The Parade of Homes is an enjoyable three weeks where you can see the latest and greatest in new homes. You can go as fast or slow as you want, taking in the big picture or concentrating on a minute detail. It's all about what interests you.

Enjoy the 2013 Spring Parade of Homes.

Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association.

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