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Whether you’re thinking about finally making your move while interest rates and price both continue to favor buyers – a rare occurrence in the history of the housing market that’s most definitely not going to last forever – or you just like to see what’s new, get ready for the Fall Home Tour.

Sponsored by The Times, the 2012 Fall Home Tour is your best opportunity to visit a great selection of brand new homes throughout northwest Indiana.

Many of the homes featured on the Fall Home Tour are ready for your family today, while others are still under construction giving you the opportunity to add some of your own input. You’ll also find a great selection of buildable home sites ready and waiting to make the plan of your dreams a reality.

You can tour the homes and meet with builders to discuss your plans and ideas during the Fall Home Tour next Saturday and Sunday, September 29-30 from 12noon to 4pm. Look for complete details including directions on the map pages available in the Homes section starting next Thursday.

“It seems like the young buyers we are seeing in our model at Emerald Crossing, are more likely to research things than their predecessors,” Rich Cook of Cook Builders said. “They have discovered the power of Google, and use it. One thing that’s common is that they are finding a whole bunch of horror stories about bad building practices, and they obviously want to avoid that. The Fall Home Tour is a great opportunity for them to see what’s out there. We promote a well-built home – a home you can be proud of – above anything else.”

“With all the options available and different ways of doing things, a home showcase weekend can be an efficient way to narrow one's search down to just a handful of builders that they then choose to engage in a further discussion about building a custom home from the ground up,” Dan Bucher of Bucher Construction said. “Model or spec homes like the ones we have in Grande Prairie, Sagamore and Augustine feature a handful of 'wow' features that serve to display the builder's creativity and capability. Purchasing a builder's completed model home can often provide a customer with the best overall deal. The home is complete and all the costs are known and paid for. As there is no longer a risk of cost overruns, change orders or unexpected items popping up, the builder knows his true costs and bottom line when negotiating a deal.”

In fact, it’s not uncommon for people with the intention of building from the ground up who take the time tour models, interview different builders and check out different floor plans to end up purchasing an already complete model home when they see the value and path of efficiency, according to Bucher.

“It's a great time to purchase a home with the lowest interest rates in our country's history,” Kris Anderson of Providence Real Estate Development said. “Right now we have over 20 available homes priced from the low $90s to over $300K under construction, and you can lock your low interest rate upon signing a contract with us. We are developing new phases in 2 of our locations (Stonegate and Regency) and have new plans and new pricing.”

With homes prices between $215,000-$250,000 in the Meadows of Sagamore, Lori and Jay Devereaux of Sunshine Homes are having trouble keeping a model open.

“Our last model sold in 2 days,” Lori said. “So we’ve been trying to build multiple spec homes. One sold at the foundation stage, another sold just about the time we started mechanicals at the framing stage and a third one sold a day before the foundation was dug. It’s really beautiful out here, and there are just few home sites left. We have a couple of presolds under way as well.”

Likewise, the Ravinia is the newest model in Autumn Gate of The Gates of St. John by Phillippe Builders.

“There are now 80 homes in the neighborhood, which is part of an established community featuring a private pre-K through 8th grade school and acres of planned green spaces, parks and water features for all to enjoy,” Rachael Phillippe said. “Whether you’re in the market for a striking first-family home, luxurious move-up design, breath-taking custom masterpiece or the convenience of maintenance-free living in an incredible townhome, paired ranch home or single-family ranch cottage home, The Gates of St. John is an incredible place to call home.”

While you can also always learn about all the opportunities for building from the ground up on the available home site of your choice when you visit a builder’s model, there are also a number of developing communities with a selection of home sites that do not currently have a model for you to tour.

“Look for the tent on lot 18 (535 N. Orchard View Court) in Mystic Springs,” David Snemis of Snemis Construction said. “We’re conveniently located in the northwest corner of Center Township near the new hospital on Route 6 and Valpo Community Schools. There are some presold homes currently under construction as well as our new model which will be ready for the New Year so it’s a great time to personalize this house.”

Similarly, Lindsay Guhl of @ Properties who is working with Blueprint Realty Partners in Chesterton’s Sand Creek will be meeting people in the sales center at the Porter Road entrance across from the Country Club during the Fall Home Tour, where there are a variety of unique opportunities to build in Phases 4 & 5.

“There are approximately 50 vacant lots available, and it takes about 10 minutes for you to see them all,” she said. “We will also be offering tours of the facilities here at Sand Creek, and you have the option of driving around yourself as well.”

If you’re interested in learning more about new homes in our area, and if you’re serious about wanting a new home for the holidays, the Fall Home Tour is the perfect opportunity for you!