WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem will feature 35 homes and two developments in its annual Parade of Homes, starting this weekend, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
Prospective homebuyers will be able to tour newly constructed homes and meet with builders and members of their teams. The homes are in Forsyth, Stokes, Northern Davie and Davidson counties.
The Fall Parade of Homes, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 1-5 p.m. today and Sunday, and Oct. 18 and 19.
Homes will also be available to tour these two weekends in Guilford County through the Greensboro Builders Association. The builders associations in Winston-Salem and Greensboro teamed up a few years ago to hold their parades at the same time.
The parade offers more homes this year than it did last year, when there were 27 homes and one development. Houses range in price from $138,500 (Ardmore Vista development) to more than $1 million (Lake at Lissara development).
“This is one of the largest events of the year to market our builders and associate members,” said Chris Thompson, the president of the Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem and a partner with PCI Builders Inc. in Kernersville. “This is the best of the best in the Triad.”
The Winston-Salem Journal is providing an insert with information about the homes both weekends.
The local homebuilders association will offer a free magazine in the homes on the fall tour. The Fall Parade Magazine provides information about each home, the builders, vendors and realtors.
So far in 2014, the Triad home-building industry has experienced its best year since the recession, Thompson said.
“Charlotte and Raleigh have been busy for the last two years,” he said. “I wouldn’t say they have recovered, but their markets have been up for the last two years. In the Triad, we’ve just started seeing that this year.”
But the spurt in building activity is causing growing pains.
Thompson said there is a labor shortage due to a lack of qualified people — from laborers to skilled tradesmen — to handle the work that has come with the jump in construction.
“An influx of people jumped in it when things were good, but once the recession hit, everybody bailed out,” Thompson said of the housing industry.
He said that the local homebuilders association has worked with Forsyth Technical Community College, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County and the Career Center to encourage students to consider careers in the skilled trades.
Megan Parks, executive vice president for the Home Builders Association of Winston-Salem, said that the Parade of Homes is vital to the local area.
“It’s not just a builder creating these products,” Parks said. “It’s a huge group of our community — companies that take part in this parade for our community.”
That group includes subcontractors, vendors, leasing agents and Realtors.
She believes that builders learned a lot from the recession and are now incorporating that knowledge into their new construction.
For example, some builders are responding to people who want homes that they can live in a long time as they age, she said.
“Keeping the master suite on the main level, having bathrooms that are accessible to all different ages,” Parks said. “You’re doing the walk-in shower that has an extra hand rail.”
Outdoor living spaces continue to be popular features in parade homes.
“It’s not just an outdoor fireplace,” Parks said. “It is an outdoor living room/dining room for every day and all- seasonal use. Opening up the glass windows that are truly doors and letting that indoor-outdoor living space be one.”