Went to the Parade of Homes again this year.

joyce_6333June 14, 2012

Even though our home is completed, we still enjoy touring the beautiful homes local builders open up to the public.

This year the homes were modest, ranging in price from $250,000 to $1.3 mil. Most remarkable thing we saw was an indoor 1/2 court basketball court. Full 2 stories high, on a level below the basement. Wow!

In general the homes were so similar to each other. Only a couple higher end ones stood out. All were lovely despite being the same.

Things I noticed:

- Smaller kitchens, more mid range appliances, a few with lovely formica counters. Still alot of granite. Layouts on a couple were just not thought out well. But maybe I'm biased having read these forums.

- About half had geothermal.

- Colors were mostly warm neutrals, with some beautiful blues in certain rooms. Only one red room that I remember.

- All but one had vinyl or fiberglass windows. The lowest priced one had the wood windows.

- Fabulous landscaping. I thought perhaps some of the $$ should have been spent on the interiors.

- More carpet than I expected. Lots of hand scraped wood floors. No exotic woods, saw mostly walnut, hickory and oak. Not much tile.

- Lots of stained/stamped concrete inside and out. Most had beautiful upgraded garage doors.

- LP Smartside was the choice on most homes. With accents in stone and cedar look siding.

Here are a couple pics I took. Sorry for the bad quality, it was hard to get good shots with the people walking around.

This was a lovely kitchen, one of the best I thought except for the backsplash. It was too busy for the granite, and almost made you dizzy.

Another attractive kitchen, but short on cabinets with extremely narrow walkways. The walkway in front of the sink was a major thoroughfare. Not good!

At first glance, this kitchen seems gorgeous. But a closer look revealed many missing major elements, and poor craftsmanship. Very dark, too. Needed a bigger window.

This was my favorite. Well thought out, gorgeous colors and elements. Whole house was wonderful.

The granite on the island is gorgeous. Wonder what it is.

One house that was quite different was this farmhouse. Plain on the outside, but such wonderful choices on the inside. They carried the farmhouse theme throughout. Even board and batten walls. The floors looked like they were 100 years old. Very very nice!

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Oh, just to clarify, these home prices do not include lot, surveys, perk tests, driveways,or anything associated with bringing utilities to the site, etc. This is the house cost only. Everything else would all be additional costs. Most of these homes are in rural or semi-rural locations. Beautiful properties.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Thanks for sharing photos. Fun to see. What state or region of the country are these homes in?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 6:13PM
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    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 7:20PM
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I love that so many had geothermal - I wish there were more contractors in my area offering it...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 9:33PM
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I've visited all of these homes this week! We must be neighbors!
Can I ask who built your house? Our builder actually built that first kitchen that you posted (the one with the busy backsplash!)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 9:45PM
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Thanks for sharing! I loved seeing the new "old" farmhouse! Just made me feel so nostalgic. That kind of house was our original desire, but I've changed my mind so many times now, I don't know what we're doing. If you have any other pictures of it, can you post them? I'd love to see what the inside looks like. Might have to rethink the old white farmhouse look.......

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 11:01PM
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Hey Laberglund, or should I say "neighbor"! Nice to meet ya! There are a few other forum members from our area. At last year's Remodel Showcase, I saw MCMesprit's kitchen. When we walked into the kitchen, I said "I know this kitchen!" What a coincidence.

Jason Steen built our house. He is also our neighbor, friend, and we bought our lot from him. He was 2011 Wisconsin Builder of the Year. Who was your builder? I can't remember what the builders were of each house. There are so many really great builders in our area. That kitchen with the "busy" backsplash was definitely the favorite kitchen of most of the visitors. It was my 2nd favorite. Lots of pictures being taken of that one, and a few people were actually taking measurements. I remember one couple talking with the builder as we were leaving. They loved it!

We didn't see all the homes. Didn't travel too far out of the metro area.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 11:32PM
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Thank you very much for sharing. I have always wondered what the Parade of Homes looks like in other cities. Don't know about other but I love them and go every year we have one(Tennessee). We hadn't had any for about 4 or 5yrs til last year and we are scheduled to have one in the Fall.
I can't wait!

Now I think about it I could post all of my pics from last year just in case anyone else was interested as well.


Here is a link that might be useful: Our home sell/build blog

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 12:48AM
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Joyce - I think I used the same subway tile in my kitchen that was used in the last kitchen photo you posted and my granite is very similar to that granite. Mine is called Golden Dunes, but I've seen it called Yellow River too. My cabinets are a bit darker in color but it was nice to see a kitchen similar to mine! And even the back of the sofa almost looks identical to the fabric on my sofa! LOL

Thanks for posting the photos - I love to look at houses!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 8:50AM
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Joyce, we are using C & E Wurzer (not to be confused with Wurzer Builders). We are in the framing process right now.
Some friends of ours bought a Steen house and are very happy with it.
Glad to "meet" you!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Kelhuck: Sorry but I didn't take any other inside pictures. I checked on the builder's webpage, and he doesn't have any either. Maybe he's waiting until the parade is over. I can tell you that it was very white. White walls, white trim, lots of white furniture. Very beautiful. The front doesn't show many windows, but there were tons of uncovered windows on the back. Such pretty vistas, too.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 11:27AM
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I have a few more houses to see this weekend, including the farmhouse. I can try to take some pictures for you!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 11:59AM
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I'd like to see the farmhouse pictures, too! :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 12:54PM
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I wish they had something like this in my area, instead I just have to go ot open houses ;)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 1:24PM
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Laura12--you and I both! I've started getting to know some of the realtors in my area. :/

I'm curious about the scant use of tile. Are they still using it in bathrooms on the floors and just not in kitchens, or are they going away from tile on the bathroom floors too?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 2:46PM
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Moving away from tile in the bathrooms? Hmm... What else would you use? :)

My own kitchen has hardwood, and I'll repeat it in the new house. I love the seamless transition from entry to living space to kitchen with all one floor type! However the bathrooms (and mudroom) are an exception - I can't imagine anything other than tile.

Though, I do love the wood look tile ;)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 3:45PM
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Kirkhall: Yes, there were areas of tile in bathrooms, near back entries, but nothing like I've seen in the past where it ran through the kitchen. I did see a couple that had vinyl tile (I think that's what it was). Lots of dark tile.

I didn't go to all the homes, because some were just too far to drive. Laberglund, I will be anxious to hear about the houses you see.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 3:48PM
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A few farmhouse pics, as promised. Unfortunately, I only had a crappy cell phone to take them with, so they are what they are.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 11:16PM
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