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Making the most of the 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 hasn't been doing us any favours but, 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; just a couple of tips to maximize your enjoyment. For the benefit of Parade veteran and rookie attendees, the Manitoba Home Builders Association offers the following tips for a successful Parade:

Wear comy slip-on shoes

There are 122 fantastic new homes available 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. The developers have been doing their best to clear snow in order to maximize good parking. Upon entering each new home, you must take off your street shoes in order to tour. Therefore, be sure to a comfortable walking shoe that easily slips on and off. It will make your visit that much more enjoyable.

Bring your SmartPhone

Remember, this year you get to decide who gets the hardware for favourite home in each category. Inside each show home, there is a QR code chart. Simply click on the QR code and rank that home from one to five stars in each of the four criteria. You can also go to www.paradeofhomes-select.ca if you're taking notes instead. At the conclusion of the Parade, compare your rankings with who won the awards.

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.

Don't forget the one-offs

Although there is tremendous variety in those subdivisions that have multiple homes, make sure to visit those areas with a single listing. There are entire new neighbourhoods to discover and builders with unique designs.

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, 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. It's all about what interests you. Enjoy the 2014 Spring Parade of Homes.

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

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