News and Tribune

Clark County

June 12, 2009

Parade of Homes opening doors to potential buyers in Southern Indiana

Second-year event more inclusive to those of different income levels

The second annual Parade of Homes in Southern Indiana — a showcase for builders, home suppliers and those associated with the construction of new homes — begins today and runs through June 21.

The parade has taken the place of the Home Expo — formerly a showcase for higher-end structures — and will feature 22 homes ranging in price from $125,000 to $500,000. The majority of the houses fall into the $150,000 to $200,000 price range.

“A lot of it is a product of the economy, and we wanted the show to benefit all of our members, not just a select few,” said Charlie Smith, Parade of Homes chairman and a sales representative for Porter Paints.

All the houses in the parade are for sale, and 10 already have been purchased. Nine were sold within a month of the showcase ending last year.

Smith cited the increase in homes sold this year to more budget-conscious buyers and the benefit of an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers.

“Last year, people were still trying to buy that $300,000 house they really couldn’t afford,” he said.

The market also has pushed builders toward making more affordable, efficient and green homes, while still providing the amenities customers want, Smith said.

Builders have looked at the average income of a Clark County resident — $43,000 — and built homes to suit those individuals.

“Basically, it’s finding out what the market can bear,” Smith said. “[The] home-building business is one of the few businesses that can change with what the market requests.”

Bill Burns, president of Aristocrat Builders, has four homes in the showcase and has sold two of the properties. The parade is better for the builders because they are able to participate in different price zones and have actual buyers walking through the homes, he said.

“I think the overall picture of the Parade of Homes is what it’s done to the community,” Burns said. “It’s really a terrific time to buy in our area.”

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