It rained on the Parade of Homes last weekend, but it didn't dampen shoppers' desire to see what builders had to offer.
So the cold snap forecast for this weekend isn't expected to frost their interest either.
Record-busting low mortgage rates have people pouring into the 120 homes open during the parade, said Kurt Dinnes, president of the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association. The U.S. average interest rate skidded this week to another new low at 3.36 percent, Freddie Mac said.
The parade continues through Sunday, with houses open free for public viewing from 1 to 7 p.m. daily. The Parade of Homes is sponsored by Womble Co., state distributor of Pella windows and doors.
“If last weekend was any indication, we had a ton of traffic — in the rain. It was amazing. I thought for sure it'd kill it,” said Dinnes, co-owner of Sun Custom Homes. “It was really phenomenal. Best traffic we've had in four or five years.”
Dinnes said builders are pleased not just with the traffic but with “the quality of the traffic” — meaning that lots of people are showing up ready to buy or to contract with a builder to start on a custom home.
Customers are continuing the post-recession trend of wanting smaller houses — but with more extras and amenities, he said.
Builders answered that desire with this year's parade, said Jack Evans, co-chairman of the parade. Kenyon Woods, co-owner of Authentic Custom Homes, is chairman.
“As builders, we prepare all year for the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association Parade of Homes,” Evans, managing partner of TimberCraft Homes, said in the parade guidebook. “By attending national conferences, touring homes across the country and taking education courses, we ensure we have the newest ideas and brightest innovations to implement in our homes.
“We take what we learn, add our own style to it and come up with a finished product we are proud to present to homebuyers and the local community.”
Smartphone apps are available to lead guests to the homes, and guides complete with maps and home descriptions are available at metro-area Arvest and Best Buy locations. You can also go to www.paradeofhomesok.com.
Most of the parade homes are clustered in five neighborhoods: Hidden Creek, north of NW 122 and east of MacArthur Boulevard; Pleasant Grove, west of Council Road and north of Memorial Road; Montereau, at NW 150 and County Line Road; Rose Creek at NW 164 and May Avenue; and Williamson Farms, SW 119 and Meridian Avenue.