Parade of Homes
The comfortable weather of the past two weeks has been bringing interested visitors by the thousands to the Fall Parade of Homes. Sales agents are reporting that individuals were lined up outside the door in anticipation of visiting their home.
The weather forecast projected for the rest of this week ensures that attendance will stay strong. It certainly looks like this year’s parade will be one of the largest ever.
Sales representatives showing the 136 new homes have been bombarded by a flurry of questions in the first two weeks. Financial matters are front and centre. Interested buyers are particularly enamoured with the low mortgage rates available now and for the foreseeable future. Many 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 countertops and cabinets are also candidates for changes. Bathrooms are always popular design topics. And, of course, closet space, storage, entertainment areas and ease of traffic flow in the home all remain popular discussion topics among interested visitors. Feel free to ask about changes to the display model. After all, you want to make sure that your new home fits your lifestyle perfectly.
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 one. Technology improves every year and, although Manitoba’s new homes have been the most energy efficient in Canada for a number of years, they still continue to get better.
Many interested prospective buyers come fully equipped with their existing heating bills, water usage numbers, furnace efficiency rating and even some R values for their discussions. A quick comparison showing considerable savings in a new home contributes to the economic viability of buying new.
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 2016 Fall Parade of Homes continues through Sunday, Oct. 2. Show homes are open Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Parade magazines are available at Steinbach Credit Union or online at homebuilders.mb.ca. Find your next home at the Fall Parade of Homes.
Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association.
The 2016 Fall Parade of Homes has started in fine fashion. Crowds for the first week have been terrific and 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 136 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 new neighbourhoods have multiple homes being shown, 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 more than 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 pair of walking shoes that easily slip on and off. It will make your visit that much more enjoyable.
Plot a map of homes to visit
If you have a particular destination site, make sure you look for additional homes along the way to visit. Many of the locations 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 neighbourhoods that have multiple homes, make sure you visit those areas with a single or just a few listings. 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 during which 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 2016 Fall Parade of Homes.
Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba
Home Builders’ Association.