The 2013 Fall Parade of Homes began with a bang. Crowds for the first week have been terrific. The weather has been a pleasant mix of warm and cool, so you could take your pick of prime new home visiting weather. For the benefit of Parade veteran and rookie attendees, the Manitoba Home Builders Association offers the following tips for a successful Parade:
Wear Comfortable Slip-on Shoes
There are 131 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 of the neighbourhoods have multiple homes being shown and so you will probably park in one location and walk to all of the homes in that area. Upon entering each new home, you must take off your street shoes in order to tour. Given that some subdivisions have over ten 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 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 site, make sure you look for additional homes along the way to visit. Many of the subdivisions are in close proximity to each other and it's easy to get to a number of them in one tour. Bring along your Parade magazine or follow the listings on your smart phone.
Don't Forget the One-Offs
Although there is tremendous variety in those subdivisions that have multiple homes, make sure you visit those 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. These individuals are a wealth of knowledge and will make your visit interesting and informative.
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 detail. You can visit each home as often as you want, so as not to miss a thing. It's all about what interests you. Enjoy the 2013 Fall Parade of Homes.
Mike Moore is the president of the Manitoba Homebuilders' Association