Last chance to tour!

2014-04-12T07:00:00Z 2014-04-12T11:49:39Z Last chance to tour!Michelle Krueger Times Correspondent
April 12, 2014 7:00 am  • 

If last weekend is any indication, homebuyers throughout Lake and Porter counties are excited about new construction this spring.

While traffic to their model homes has been steadily picking up right along with the housing market over the last year, builders welcomed a steady flow of interested people into their model homes for The Times sponsored Spring Showcase of Homes last weekend. This scattered-site builder tour continues today and wraps up tomorrow with homes open from noon to 4 p.m. both days.

“Our company represented two homes—one in Edgewood just west of downtown Valparaiso on Route 30 where you’ll find a more affordable price range of 225,000-300,000 and another in Brigata Hills which is a little more exclusive and off Route 30 at N County Road 250W and W County Road 500N. In Edgewood we saw 20 parties on Saturday and 60 more on Sunday, which was just amazing. Of those, at least five were quality leads of people looking right now. In Brigata Hills we saw about a dozen couples on Saturday and 20 more on Sunday with quite a few of the people telling us they were going to stop by all of the homes during the tour,” said Dawn Collins of Century 21 Executive Realty in Valparaiso. “We’re expecting more nice weather this weekend, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

In celebration of the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) New Homes Month, the Spring Showcase of Homes “Builders Tour” shines a spotlight on some of the most popular new designs as well as the top features available in new homes this year.

For example, McFarland Homes is introducing detached cottage homes in Monastery Woods, one of three Lake County maintenance-free communities where this particular builder has models open to tour.

“It was fun to meet so many people who were specifically asking about our new detached homes,” said Pam Duke of McFarland Homes. “We had a couple purchase one solely from a blueprint over the winter, and with all the traffic last weekend, we’re now also working with a few other serious buyers. Since the weather has improved, our model is coming along so it’s nice to have something to show people, and we’re also getting ready to start a few more. ”

In Chesterton’s Village Green at Coffee Creek, Phillippe Builders also had a new model to show off.

“I was busy giving tours almost the entire time last weekend,” Rachel Randall of Phillippe Builders said. “Since I typically work in the office during the week, it was amazing to be in such a beautiful location and meet so many interesting people. Along with our model that’s move-in ready and for sale, we have a new open concept plan that a lot of people were really excited to see. It was so much fun to have something different to show everyone depending on what they were looking for in a maintenance-free townhome.”

While these are just a few examples of the many homes open to tour during the Spring Showcase of Homes this weekend, you’ll find a map and complete details inside so you can plan your own personal tour of new construction in Lake and Porter counties.

When it comes to the most popular features in new homes, a recent NAHB survey reveals that convenience, livability and energy efficiency are top priorities for buyers. You’ll find our local builders are definitely answering the call on all three with popular features such as open living spaces, walk-in closets and low-e windows plus spacious and conveniently located laundry rooms.

Other popular features include granite countertops, double sinks and central islands in the kitchens; linen closets and private toilets in full bathrooms; nine-foot first-floor ceilings; and a front porch plus outdoor living features such as a covered patio or deck all with great lighting.

“Newly constructed homes can suit the specific requirements of today’s home buyers,” NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly said. “And now is a great time to consider buying a new home, as consumers can take advantage of competitive home prices and low interest rates to find the perfect new home for their families.”

With energy efficiency a key theme in new construction, buyers appreciate brand new Energy-Star rated appliances, programmable thermostats and Energy-Star rated windows. Together, these features can save the homeowner significantly on utility bills while increasing comfort and convenience over the long run.

On a median per square-foot basis, existing homeowners spend an estimated 78 cents per square foot per year on electricity, while owners of new homes spend an average 65 cents per square foot per year, according to NAHB data.

With a great selection of model homes in a variety of neighborhood settings and price points open to tour—many of which are available now and ready to welcome you home—there’s a great deal to see and learn during this final weekend of the Spring Showcase of Homes. From tips on how to prep your home for sale to discovering the right builder for you and finding the right spot for your new dream home, local builders look forward to meeting you and answering all your questions.

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