The weather of the past two weeks has helped bring interested visitors by the thousands to the Spring Parade of Homes. Opening weekend was unseasonably warm and this weekend looks to be another winner.
With weekends like these, sales agents were reporting that individuals were lined up outside the door in anticipation of visiting the homes. Traffic throughout the rest of the week stayed strong. It certainly looks like this year’s parade will be one of the largest ever.
Sales representatives showing the 132 new homes have been bombarded with a flurry of questions in the first two weeks. Financial items are front and centre. Interested buyers are particularly enamored with the low mortgage rates that remain available. Some show homes display samples of mortgage calculations; some promote banks and credit unions that are able to assist buyers, and all have a calculator handy.
Given that most people visit a variety of new homes in the parade, it is inevitable that comparison shopping and the addition of different features arise. For instance, sales representatives have been asked the cost of changing flooring to something that was seen elsewhere. Kitchen counter top and cabinets also stimulate discussions for changes. Bathrooms are always popular design topics.
Manitobans are more energy-conscious than any other province. This is particularly true of those considering moving from their older home to a brand new home. Technology improves every year and, although Manitoba new homes have been the most energy-efficient in Canada for a number of years, they still continue to get better.
The variety and choice of new neighbourhoods has also been a huge drawing card for visitors this year. Looking at the map of areas, one sees that there is excellent distribution throughout all four quadrants of the city. Added to that are new homes in Headingley, Stonewall, Brandon, Oak Bluff, La Salle, Grande Pointe, Niverville, Oakbank, Dugald and East St. Paul. The options have never been better.
As was said in last weeks’ column, if you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask. The show home representatives have a wealth of information and, if they don’t immediately know the answer, they can find out and get back to you.
Remember, the 2017 Spring Parade of Homes continues through Sunday, March 26. Show homes are open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m..
Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association.