2012 Fall Parade of Homes previews 19 houses
Published: Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.
Area home builders are hoping to entice prospective home buyers and decorators with the latest in architectural style and home decor with the Fall Parade of Homes.
If you go
What: Builders Association of North Central Florida Fall Parade of Homes present a preview of 19 new homes throughout Alachua County
When: From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 13-14 and Oct. 20-21
Information: Look for the Fall Parade of Homes guide in the Oct. 13 edition of The Gainesville Sun, or visit www.bancf.com
Nineteen model homes will be open to the public for self-guided tours on two consecutive weekends, Oct. 13-14 and Oct. 20-21. The free event, sponsored by the Builders Association of North Central Florida, offers potential home buyers a look at new housing trends and decorating ideas in 11 subdivisions across the county.
This season's tour showcases four more homes than it did during last fall's tour, with homes ranging in price from about $145,000 to more than $930,000. The homes range in size from 1,347 square feet to 4,808 square feet.
The Parade of Homes is for more than just those looking to buy a home, said Margie Krpan, deputy executive vice president of the Builders Association of North Central Florida.
Some of the homes have already sold but will offer inspiration for people who are remodeling or seeking ideas for future homes, she said.
A common theme among homes on the tour this fall is energy-efficiency, including homes with Energy Star appliances, high-quality insulation, and roofs and windows that reflect the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Smaller homes on the tour offer space-saving features such as nooks and crannies for storage, Krpan said.
While the economic climate has affected builders' sales in recent years, Krpan said Gainesville builders are "cautiously optimistic." About three-fourths of the homes in the last Parade of Homes have been sold, she said.
Innovative Home Builders of North Florida Inc. will debut two of its homes in the Parade for the first time this season. The homes have both already sold, said Travis Williams, the company's owner.
"Sales were down last year, but we're at a record high for our company this year," Williams said of his business, which was established in 2007. He said the company just sold its 29th home for the year, compared to a total of six sales last year.
Williams said his homes typically attract first-time home buyers or retirees who are downsizing.
According to a report by Florida Realtors, the number of pending sales for Florida single-family homes in August of this year showed a 40.2 percent increase when compared to the same time last year. However, the number of homes for sale decreased by 32.3 percent.
Tom Spain, owner of Spain & Cooper Construction Inc., said his business has showcased one home in almost every Parade of Homes for the past 40 years. He said his company has sold five homes this year, compared to two last year.
The builder's 3,200-square-foot home in this year's tour stands out because of its location in the only Gainesville neighborhood that is zoned for three A-rated schools.
Meanwhile, Tommy Williams Homes is touting his "green homes" at a base price of $199,900 in this Parade.
The homes have air handler and air conditioning ducts inside the air conditioned space of the house rather than in the attic or garage, leading to more efficient cooling, said Todd Louis, the company's vice president.
Louis said his company's clients typically have an interest in saving money through energy-efficiency.
As an incentive, Tommy Williams Homes is offering new home buyers no electric bills for one year.
The builder's Parade home is in the Longleaf subdivision at 8234 SW 78th Lane.
"I think the energy-efficiency aspects have helped us through the housing crisis," he said.
Louis said home sales for the business have increased from a total of 19 sales in 2011 to 27 so far this year.