Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Visitors warming to Parade show homes
The warm weather of the past week has been bringing interested visitors by the thousands to the Spring Parade of Homes. On the second weekend, sales agents were reporting that individuals were lined up outside the door in anticipation of visiting their home.
The fantastic weather throughout the week ensured that attendance stayed strong. Let's hope this spring heat wave continues through the rest of the month and beyond. It certainly looks like this year's Parade will be one of the largest ever.
Sales representatives showing the 103 new homes have been bombarded with a flurry of questions in the first two weeks. Financial items are front and centre. Interested buyers are particularly enamoured with the low mortgage rates that are currently available.
Recent announcements of continued low rates throughout Manitoba, Canada and North America perpetuate assurance that now is an ideal time to buy a new home. Some show homes display samples of mortgage calculations; some promote banks and credit unions that are able to assist buyers and all have a calculator handy.
Given that most people visit a variety of new homes in the Parade, it is inevitable that comparison shopping and the addition of different features arise. For instance, sales representatives have been asked the cost of changing flooring to something seen elsewhere. Kitchen countertops and cabinets also stimulate discussions. Bathrooms are always popular design topics.
Manitobans are more energy conscious than any other province. This is particularly true of those considering moving from their older home to a brand new home. Technology improves every year and, although Manitoba new homes have been the most energy efficient in Canada for years, they continue to get better.
Many interested prospective buyers come fully equipped with their existing heating bills, water usage numbers, furnace efficiency rating and even some R values. A quick comparison showing considerable savings in a new home contributes to the economic viability of buying new.
As was said in last week's column, if you don't know, don't be afraid to ask. The show home staff are a wealth of information and, if they don't know the answer, they can find out and get back to you.
Remember, the 2012 Spring Parade of Homes continues through Sunday, March 25. Show homes are open Monday through Thursday from 3-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon-6 p.m.
Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 17, 2012 F6
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