Parade of Homes has something for everyone to see

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldSeptember 5, 2013 

From fancy to affordable, this year's Parade of Homes features a house in every size and every price range, organizers said.

"We have dream houses, starter houses and everything in between," said Jeff Losey, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities.

Even if you're not in the market for a new home, the Parade of Homes is a good place to get ideas for future remodeling projects and inspiration for decor and landscaping, Losey said.

The 51st annual HBA-sponsored five-day event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Sept. 14-15, and from 1 to 7 p.m. Sept. 11.

Featured on the tour are 26 homes built by 24 builders scattered throughout the Tri-Cities.

And -- for the first time -- one of the houses is in east Pasco. The house, built by Anthony Potts, owner of Ambience Homes of Kennewick, is in the Tierra Vida community off A Street.

It's a good example of a starter home, Losey said, with others on the tour running to $500,000 and higher.

Potts' single-story house is 1,726 square feet with an attached garage that has been finished and painted inside. It's priced at $194,450.

The planned community where the home is located is a project of Ralph and Cheryl Broetje, owners of Broetje Orchards in Prescott.

Potts said he chose to build there because of the amenities it offers and the sense of community the Broetjes have fostered.

"I have a high appreciation for the community ministry they do and really like their vision," he said.

The Tierra Vida community has a park and playground and a community center -- The Collegium -- that serves breakfast and lunch and offers a computer lab, after-school activities, continuing education opportunities, plus a meeting room with kitchen.

Potts said he paid special attention to make the house handicap accessible, with wider doors, hard surface floors, except for the bedrooms, and an oversized laundry room.

"The laundry room is actually a bit bigger than those I've seen in some of the other houses on the Parade of Homes," he said. "There's actually room for an optional sink and countertop."

Potts also built the mantle over the living room fireplace.

"I just wanted to give it a custom touch," he said.

Losey said he participated in Portland's Street of Dreams event this year and said the Tri-City houses rival anything he saw there.

"It just goes to show, the larger cities do not have any more than you get to see in the Tri-Cities -- from the quality of the workmanship to all the new ideas and trends -- it's all here in the Tri-Cities," Losey said.

Choosing homes

To have a house included in the Parade of Homes, builders must have been a member of the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities for two years. They have to fill out an application form to participate.

"We don't have a lot of hoopla for them to go through," said Sarah Britain Szatkowski, director of publications and special events for the HBA.

"There are no square footage or price requirements. We want a nice mix of homes, not all super high dollar houses," she said.

Tickets

Tickets are $10 and available at all Circle K stores. Tickets are good for all five days, but can be used only once per house. Children 3 years and older will need a ticket to enter the homes.

Strollers and backpacks are not allowed in the houses.

Wear socks and shoes that are easily removed. Or, if wearing soft-soled, flat shoes, shoe covers will be provided. Take the shoe covers with you on the tour and reuse them at each house.

You can start at any home and visit them in any order.

Have your ticket stamped at each of the houses and you'll be eligible to win a $3,000 closet package from California Closet. However, you must live within a 75-mile radius of the Tri-Cities.

And be sure to cast your vote for the People's Choice award.

Chefs event sells out

The Chefs on Parade event, which features 12 chefs serving appetizers at selected homes on the tour, has sold out.

"But we are taking names for a waiting list and hoping we can squeeze everyone in," Losey said.

To be placed on the waiting list for Chefs on Parade, call the HBA office at 735-2745. Tickets are $40 and include a regular ticket to the Parade of Homes.

w Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; lhulse@tricityherald.com

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