If you're in the market for a new home, you've probably heard this time of year called “spring buying season.”
If you're a homebuilder, when the redbuds pop and the last winter storm blows through, you see the other side of that coin — it's “spring selling season.”
Either way, 'tis the season — and the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association is celebrating.
Builders are welcoming prospective buyers to the inaugural Parade of Homes Spring Festival, which continues Saturday and Sunday and then again next weekend, April 26-28. Homes are open free to the public from 1 to 6 p.m. each day.
The spring parade showcases 96 homes from 51 builders across the Oklahoma City metro area. For maps and information on Spring Festival homes, go to www.paradeofhomesok.com.
Event chairman Jack Evans, managing partner of TimberCraft Homes, said he and other builders are eager to show buyers their handiwork and craftsmanship.
Evans said builders created the spring parade so that buyers could experience the quality, workmanship and “individual touches” that go into their homes day in and day out. He characterized the annual fall Parade of Homes, now to be called the “Fall Classic,” as a stage for builders' “showcase houses.”
The spring festival features homes built “ready to move in,” Evans said.
The Parade of Homes Spring Festival is the brainchild of Caleb McCaleb of McCaleb Homes in Edmond, and Jim McWhirter, president of Gemini Builders in Del City.
McWhirter, who for years has served as chairman of the springtime East Area Festival of Homes, said he was looking forward to the “experiment.”
“We always see such great foot traffic” in the East Area Festival, he said. McWhirter said he, McCaleb and others are eager to expand a “system that works” to include homes across the greater metro area.
Evans said TimberCraft and other area builders are riding a boomlet of buyer activity.
“Right now we have 33 homes” in some phase of construction, Evans said. “Last year at this time, we had 22.”
New home permits in the metro area were on the increase in 2012, pushing past levels last seen in 2007.
Builders “want to use the Spring Festival to show buyers the advantages of a new home,” Evans said.
Chief among those advantages, he said, is the energy efficiency and utilities cost savings with new homes.
The four Spring Festival homes offered by TimberCraft are all “Positive Energy” homes, as recognized by the Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. energy-efficient home certification program.
One of the Timbercraft homes, at 8440 NW 142 in the Pleasant Grove addition, is a “teenager-friendly” 1,950-square-foot layout featuring a large downstairs master suite, two upstairs bedrooms and a “flex space” bonus room.
The clean lines and finishes give the home a contemporary feel. A vaulted living room ceiling and a wall of windows in the kitchen brighten the home, creating a spaciousness and flow throughout the central living area.
The two-story home, with its reduced footprint, leaves plenty of backyard space — a vanishing feature, according to Evans, in an area where traditional 55- and 60-foot lots are in short supply.
With TimberCraft's “TimberCreek Plan” also shown in the Pleasant Grove addition, Evans has married “traditional prairie style” with contemporary lines and finishes.
“We think this clean, crisp look is where the market is going,” Evans said.