Residents and visitors alike have an opportunity to explore the latest trends and grandest innovations in home design at the Outer Banks Home Builders Association’s 25th Annual Parade of Homes.

The event, which is Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 5-8, encompasses the entire spectrum of quality-built homes — from cute and cozy starter homes to those with too many bells and whistles to count.

This year’s collection includes 15 homes that range from 1,240 — to 10,100 square feet of living space. The properties included on the tour represent an array of prices — from custom golf course homes, waterfront or beachfront properties, to affordable family-oriented developments, consumers are sure to find their dream home.

Tickets are $10 per person and are good for all four days of the tour. A map with the address of each home is provided with ticket purchase.

Parade ticket vendors include: Carolina Designs Realty, Cozy Kitchens Group, Daniels Homeport, Kellogg Supply Co, Kellogg Design Center, Kempsville Building Materials, Outer Banks Association of Realtors, Outer Banks Home Builders Association and The Cottage Shop.

About the tour

The tour features homes from top builders who not only have the knowledge required to construct homes that withstand the area’s sometimes harsh coastal climate — and minimize impact to the area’s ecosystem — but who also take pride in offering homes that feature quality craftsmanship.

Models feature architecture and designer details, such as tongue-and-groove, coffer and cove-lit ceilings, wood and stone flooring, granite and quartz counter tops, custom cabinetry and luxury finishes.

Two-story great rooms with lots of natural lighting, high-tech kitchens that open to living spaces to maximize space for entertaining and striking finishes and custom woodworking all are hallmarks of this year’s Parade of Homes entries.

The tour covers 50 miles — from Nags Head to Corolla — and affords the public a chance to get a first-hand look at the latest innovations in home building — such as design, construction, insulation, security, sound systems, windows, landscaping — and other key elements of new home construction, says Jake Overton, president of the Outer Banks Home Builders Association.

It’s a great opportunity for people to tour homes at their leisure and enjoy an afternoon looking at the latest trends and the new things in new home design.

Industry professionals will be available to answer questions and provide insight to consumers who will walk away better equipped to make smart decisions about their own homes.

“Anyone with an interest in building, purchasing, remodeling, redecorating, etcetera, should attend.”

Even those who aren’t in the market for a new home often pass along their impressions to friends and family, especially if they like what they see, Overton says.

“Many homeowners are in town over Columbus Day weekend and use the time to talk with builders about remodeling and/or upgrade projects or getting started on a new rental property over the winter before the season starts again.”

It’s a win-win for everyone involved — from homebuyers and architects to builders and Realtors.

“Many builders report securing contracts to build or remodel shortly following this event; many report contracts 8-10 years after someone visited their Parade home,” he says.

“Because of the way people buy property — and wait to build until it fits into their life— builder participation in the Parade has a very long ‘shelf life.’”

This year’s tour boasts 15 homes, down from 19 homes in 2016 and 22 homes in 2015.

Overton says the decline can be traced to many causes.

“There are always many reasons why the number varies year-to-year, but this year, we actually could isolate the reason – 15 is about the normal number for new homes in the Parade, but this is the first year in at least 14 years that we did not have even one remodeled home entered,” he says, adding that normally the Parade of Homes includes between four and seven remodeling projects.

“This year, a great deal of the remodeling was not large-scale enough to be Parade-worthy, or they were not available because of rentals on the homes for that weekend, or because a number of remodeling projects were done for homeowners who have recently purchased older homes that aged out as rental properties, and remodeled them for their own homes, not wanting the touring public as guests in their homes.”

It’s not the quantity that counts, he says. It’s the quality.

Whatever the homebuyer prefers — casual, relaxed year-round beach living, a comfy vacation home or grand manse along the shore — the Parade of Homes is designed to showcase what’s available in this serene and picturesque Outer Banks paradise, Overton says.

The Parade of Homes also is a boon to the local economy.

“Since our main market is not a local one, we place advertising in seven states and Washington, D.C. just letting them know that Outer Banks, in that beautiful fall season is a wonderful getaway and that there is no doubt a home that they would love to own just waiting for them,” he says.

“In its 25th year now, it has become a well-known event, with many people calling the OBHBA office in January for the dates in order to be able to schedule their fall vacation around it.”

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