Planning for the Parade of Homes

You have done the hard work and are ready for the next phase of making your dream home a reality. You have compiled a list of the features you require in your new home as well as a few that would be nice. Maybe you haven’t done that yet and are looking for some inspiration.

In both cases, you will find participating in a home parade beneficial. They save you hours compiling lists of home builders in your area and setting up appointments. The key to getting the most out of the experience is planning.

When is the Parade of Homes?

Generally, you’ll know when a Parade of Homes is approaching because of advertisements, but if you haven’t heard of one, talk to a realtor in the area. Also, most areas have a Parade of Homes at least once a year around the same time. For example, your Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association had it’s 71st parade in September 2016. By keeping an eye on the COHBA website, you can plan ahead. Some home parade organizers let you sign up for notifications as well.

Planning for the Day

Ahead of the date, examine the website, particularly the FAQs, so that you know the rules. Here are a few common points:

  • Tickets may or may not be required, even if the home parade is free.
  • Pets, other than service animals, are not allowed.
  • Smoking is not allowed.
  • Food and drink are not allowed in the homes.

There are other things you can do that will improve your experience:

  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
  • Know the hours and allow yourself enough time.
  • Be prepared to take photos and make notes.
  • Have water and snacks in your car for between home tours, or plan a break for a restaurant meal. Remember, others will be doing the same, so choose a less popular time such as mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
  • Children are not excluded, but a babysitter may be preferable over exhausted and bored children.
  • Fill up the gas tank. Carpooling is a good idea, as parking can be limited.

A bit of planning will improve your Parade of Homes experience. You’ll end the day with tons of ideas. If you don’t make it through as many homes as you wanted, you can check out Houzz for inspiration. You can also use the photos to communicate to your builder what you want to accomplish