If you’re planning to build a home, this year’s Parade of Homes, hosted by FABA (Fredericksburg Area Builders Association), needs to be on your radar. Nineteen homes will be showcased and everything from tiny homes to million-dollar estates will be available to tour. Spend the weekend getting amazing home inspiration and talking with the builders themselves. It’s like walking through HGTV right in your hometown!
We sat down with Scott Hine and Chrissy Urian of FABA to get the rundown on Parade of Homes and why it’s the absolute builder event of the season.
Q: What is Parade of Homes?
Parade of Homes is the big showcase of the year for area builders. This event in particular gives them the opportunity to show off what they do. This year, we have 15 builders and 19 homes entered. The homes run the gamut from tiny homes to million-dollar homes. We have single family homes, 55+ homes and townhouses. It's anything and everything you want to see, at all different price points. The homes are located all over the greater Fredericksburg area. The Parade of Homes takes place the first two weekends in October. Judging takes place the final week.
Q: How do I get info on the houses? Do I just show up?
Every home entered is open to the public for tours, during the first two weekends in October. You’ll need to go to the website fredparade.com, or grab our booklet (available on newsstands around town), or pick up Fred Parent’s September issue, for the map. The houses’ descriptions and images will also be in the magazine and booklet, and continuously updated on the website. We’re also very excited about our new app called Fredericksburg Parade of Homes. This year, it’s dedicated totally to Fredericksburg’s Parade of Homes. It will have a map, pictures, descriptions of each home and more!
Q: What is the awards ceremony like? Is it open to the public?
It is open to public, but by ticket only. You can purchase tickets on our website www.FredParade.com. Select the “Celebration” button on the main menu, then select “Join the Celebration”. You may also purchase tickets by calling FABA at 540-898-2730. It’s always a lot of fun! We’ll have hors d’oeuvres and drinks, but the main event is the announcement of the winners. Builders are judged by volunteers within the industry. The categories are determined by what types of homes are entered. We’ll need 3-4 homes for each category, at the very least. What’s interesting is that this year we have a smaller number of entries than we’ve seen in the past. Many builders have already sold the homes they planned on entering! It’s a great problem to have! That being said, we won’t know what the categories are until opening week when all the entries are accounted for.
Winners receive a large plaque, the iconic blue ribbon and of course the recognition of being Best in Class! The most prestigious award is the Pinnacle Builders Award. It’s awarded to the builder who was most engaged with the association when building their home. One of the things FABA tries to do is help build the association and support the industry. The rising tide raises all ships. The Pinnacle Builders Award can go to any builder, regardless of their entry.
Q: Are the houses an example of what the builders normally do, or is Parade of Homes seen as an opportunity to be creative?
All of the above! The entries you’ll tour range from traditional model homes to $2.5-million custom homes. We do get some very unique homes entered, which is really fun! Some builders go all out to showcase their range. Others will enter a house from their catalog, to showcase a home and features they excel at building. You get the best of both worlds.
Q: If I see a model I like, it should be pretty easy to get the builder’s information, call them and ask, “I really like your entry. Can I get it built?” Right?
Yes! One of the best reasons for people to attend this event is because the builders are on site. They’ll be all hands on deck these two weekends. It’s a great time! It’s good to just get out there and see what’s being done, so you can get a better idea of what you like, and see who’s building it. Many smaller builders don’t have six models available, but they build a phenomenal house. So this is also a chance to meet these smaller builders, who might be the perfect fit for what you are looking for.
Q: If I go to the event and fall in love with a $1.2-million home, it wouldn’t be crazy to approach the builder and ask if they build a home in my price range, right? The same goes with location?
Correct. Most builders can build all price points and styles. Some builders work in a tight location circle. Parade of Homes participants are building all over Fredericksburg. Some may go little beyond into Northern Virginia. A lot of builders will offer semi-custom homes. Which is where they have preset floor plans and you choose through available options and prices. Some are pure custom builders, where each home is one of a kind, with a unique price. Many build both. The possibilities are endless! The main thing is to talk to the builders.
Q: What message do you want to send our readers about Parade of Homes or about building a new house?
If you’re building a home, you’re going to be in a relationship with the builder for months. You need to know that you can work together. Some builders are more hands on and some are more hands off. Get to know them a little and make sure your personalities are compatible.
There really is no better time for prospective new home buyers than these two weekends, because of the concentration of builders and styles available. If you just see one model home on your way home from work, you don’t really get a good sense of what that builder can do. Just get out there and see the homes, and remember to talk to the builders!
The bottom line? Parade of Homes is an unparalleled opportunity to meet area builders and see what they can do! This is the time of year to pick a builder. If you plan on building, you should plan on coming to this event.
We’ll be on site chatting LIVE on Facebook with Scott Thursday, September 14, at 11 a.m.! Come join the conversation as we explore a Parade of Homes house!