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Annual Fall Parade of Homes kicks off this weekend

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This new home at 2747 Reynolds Drive, Winston-Salem, by builder Don Hamrick, is an entry in the Triad Parade of Homes. The 4,850-sq.-ft. low-country style house is highly energy-efficient, and features custom cabinetry, in-floor radiant heat in the baths and study, vaulted great room, elevator, wine room, emergency power generator, vacuum system, 3-bay basement parking, and is fully wired for security and environmental controls. (David Rolfe/Journal)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem’s 2013 Fall Parade of Homes will start this weekend, featuring 27 homes and one development.

The showcase of newly constructed homes by local builders is free and open to the public, presenting homes in Forsyth, and Northern Davie and Davidson counties. The event will be held from 1-5 p.m. today and Sunday, and Oct. 19 and 20.

Homes will also be available to tour these two weekends in Guilford County through the Greensboro Builders Association.

“The best of the best is in our fall parade,” said Jerry Herman, the executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem.

Prices range from $127,600 to more than $1 million. The square footage of houses ranges from about 1,500 to 6,224.

Homes include such features as radiant heated floors, energy-efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures, WiFi security and stereo technology, screened porches, inside and outside fireplaces, and dual water heaters. Some homes have a country, cottage or lodge look.

Custom Homes by Hamrick, based in Belews Creek, has an entry in the parade on Reynolds Drive. The house’s features include an elevator, wine room, radiant heated floors and vaulted ceiling and timbered beams.

Homebuilder Don Hamrick did not disclose the price of the 4,850-square-foot, custom-built home for a client but said it was well over $1 million.

Entries in the Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem’s fall parade are down slightly from fall 2012, partly due to rainy spring and summer weather that hindered construction in the region this year.

“Many builders planned to put homes in (the parade), but they just did not get far enough along to finish,” said Herman.

He also said that some builders had entries, but their houses sold and the new owners wanted to move in before the start of the Fall Parade of Homes. New constructions that have been lived in cannot be entered in the parade.

The Winston-Salem Journal will provide a full page with a parade map key and home listings for both weekends. The local homebuilders association will offer a free magazine in the homes on the fall tour. The magazine will feature all parade entries.

Several people involved in the industry said they expect a lot of people to turn out for the Parade of Homes to see what local builders can offer homebuyers. They also expect the usual people interested in remodeling their houses. Some people tour houses to get color, decorating and design ideas.

Suppliers and vendors of products used by builders can often be found in the parade homes.

“It’s a great way to be educated on new construction and new products,” Herman said.

He suggested that people wear comfortable shoes that they can easily slip off before walking inside the homes.

Shane Wagoner, the president of the local homebuilder’s association, said he has had a good year as a builder.

His company, Wagoner Homes, based in Winston-Salem, recently sold a house in Northern Davidson County that was supposed to be in the parade until it went under contract.

Overall, sales are much better than they were three years ago for the local housing market, and building permits are up slightly from a year ago, Wagoner said.

“It’s been a good year, and we’re seeing a lot of positive synergy,” he said.

But he said that business is better for some builders than others, depending on the location and price range of homes.

Wagoner described builders as cautiously optimistic, not sure how fast to move forward with projects.

Hamrick said that his business has been steady.

“I’ve always been okay because I have a kind of niche market,” Hamrick said. “I build energy efficient homes with a lot of attention to detail.”

By Fran Daniel/Winston-Salem Journal