This year’s Parade of Homes from the Home Builders Association of Lake-Sumter promises to be one of the best.
The Parade of Homes is an event where you can view homes online and enjoy virtual tours, but nothing beats walking through a brick-and-mortar home built by one of the great builders in Lake and Sumter counties.
The 2018 Parade of Homes will be Feb. 24-March 4, and residents can tour new homes in a variety of places from Lady Lake to Groveland and Mount Dora to Umatilla. Not only are the designs and homes new, but many builders participating this year are new members of the Home Builders Association of Lake-Sumter.
“We have different entries, so people are not going to see all the same builders,” says Lisa Templin-Rayborn, executive director of the HBA. “Right now, houses are selling almost as soon as they’re finished, and that has made things a little more challenging for us and the builders.”
Entries will be viewed in four categories: community (golf courses or non-golf courses), custom homes, production homes, and virtual viewings, which will showcase model homes that may be available now in other counties but have not been built in this area yet. Many of HBA’s associate members are serving as ambassadors for builders this year and will be on hand to help in any way.
Each home will be awarded a merit award for the best feature of the house. There will be first- and second-place winners in each category and a Realtor’s Choice Award. Judging is not based on furnishings, décor, or window treatments.
The HBA is rebranding its signs for the 2018 event so they’ll be bigger and easier to spot. Pat Smallwood of Smallwood Signs designed the new signage for the Parade of Homes. In addition, Carl Ludecke of Charlie Johnson Builder, along with many other members of the group, was a significant donor to get new signs.
Lisa says planning for the event was carried out by many HBA members, including Karen Schroeder, of Solid Image Countertops, who has been chairwoman of the event for two years, and William Dorman, of White Aluminum, who works diligently for the HBA throughout the year.
“Karen pours her professionalism and passion into every part of the Parade of Homes, and makes it the great event it is,” Lisa says.
Realtor Days for the Parade of Homes will be Tuesday through Thursday, Feb. 20-22, and the awards banquet will be Friday, Feb. 23.
Guidebooks will be released Feb. 22 and can be picked up at the Home Builders Association, 1100 N. Joanna Ave., Tavares; Bella Vista at Harbor Hills, the Dream Community and Dream Builder for 2018; Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply in Leesburg and Mount Dora; and at all locations of Trustco Banks, the Diamond Sponsor this year. Other sponsors include Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Solid Image Countertops, Leading Edge Builders of Clermont, and The Orlando Sentinel, which features the guidebook in its Feb. 22 edition.
The free tours are self-guided so the guidebook is essential for viewing the homes. It’s important to know that some homes are open only the first weekend, others are open only on weekends, and some are open all 10 days of the Parade of Homes.
With the opening of the Mount Dora exchange and Florida’s Turnpike in Minneola, Lake County has become a prime place to build or relocate.
“One of our biggest challenges this year has been the dearth of reliable subcontractors,” Lisa says, “and that gets into where we’re going as a county. We need people who want to work with their hands.”
If you’re thinking of building a new home, the 2018 Parade of Homes is a fantastic opportunity to see the latest from builders, communities, and cities in Lake County.
Realtor days, Feb. 20-22
Guidebook release, Feb. 22
Awards banquet, Feb. 23
Parade of Homes, Feb. 24-Mar. 4
Cities where visitors can view the 2018 Parade of Homes