President’s Message

The 61stAnnual Parade of Homes Offers the Best in New Home Construction and Amenities

By Alton Lister, HBA President

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Home Builders Association (HBA), it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the 61stAnnual Parade of Homes. Every spring, Northwest Florida builders are working hard and putting the finishing touches on each Parade house. If you’re in the market for a new home, the Parade of Homes will afford you the opportunity to see homes of all shapes and sizes complete with valued amenities.

In terms of cutting-edge technology and features, make sure to see the HBA’s American Dream Home, which is a Natural Gas Advantage Elite Home, built by Thomas Home Corporation, in the gated community of Carrington located just off Hwy. 29 on Quintette Road. The Dream Home’s floor plan is designed with open living areas that is hospitable to indoor and outdoor entertaining. The Dream Home is a spacious 3,364 square-foot, four bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms including an oversized master bath, and a spacious multi-purpose room. I am very thankful to Thomas Henry of Thomas Home Corporation for building this beautiful home for the HBA. Also, we could not do this project without the help and support of our Dream Home Donors, and our major partner in Pensacola Energy. Pensacola Energy Marketing Manager Jill Grove and her team did a remarkable job. Make sure you view the Dream Home Donors list and if you see something you like in the Dream Home, contact one of the donors. I am sure they can be of service.

The Dream Home may have what you’re looking for with features that are essential on your must-have list. Do other home buyers have similar preferences, like you? A recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reveals what home features are among the most wanted this year. First-time buyers and existing home owners ranked features based on how essential they are to a home-purchasing decision.

Home buyers ranked a laundry room and energy-saving features such as Energy Star appliances, windows and whole house certification among the most wanted home features. More than a third of home buyers deem a patio, garage storage and exterior lighting as must haves for homes.

When asked specifically about kitchen features, a walk-in pantry, double sink, table space for eating, a central island and granite/natural stone countertops were ranked the most wanted by 75 percent or more of all buyers. Two-thirds of buyers checked stainless steel as their preferred color for appliances.

Are home buyers interested in unique home layouts or more space than what they currently have? By a significant margin, home buyers prefer open layouts. The amount of space varied across generations. Millennials wanted more space than what they currently have whereas seniors are looking to downsize. Recent trends show the size of new homes has been decreasing since 2016; fewer have four or more bedrooms, or three or more bathrooms.

Single-family detached homes have always been the first choice for an overwhelming majority of buyers, while home location preferences varied across generations. Nearly a quarter of millennials would like to buy a home in the central city, more than twice the rate of any other generation. However, almost twice as many millennials would prefer to live in the suburbs, a preference shared by a majority of Gen Xers and Boomers. More than 80 percent of seniors prefer the suburbs.

A commitment to energy efficiency continued in 2019 among home buyers. Buyers are willing to pay extra for a home if it means more energy savings on utility bills. In addition to Energy Star items, most wanted energy-conserving features include efficient lighting, triple-pane insulating glass windows and insulation higher than required by code.

Unlike other home preferences, interest in home technologies was strong across all generations. Home buyers indicated their interest in technology features designed to enhance the security of their homes. The top three most wanted technology features are security cameras, a video doorbell and a wireless home system. Home buyers were divided about the need for technology features to be responsive to voice commands.

I encourage you to visit the 53 homes scattered throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Special thanks the home builders who have entered homes into the Parade including Acorn Fine Homes, aDoor Properties, LLC, Adams Homes of NW FL, Avant-Price Builders Group, LLC, Breland Homes, Classic Homes of Pensacola, DC Homes of Pensacola, D.R. Horton, Inc., Flynn Built, Henry Company Homes, Paragon Custom Homes, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, Samuel Stevens & Associates, Thomas Home Corporation, Timberland Contractors, LLC and Truland Homes.

The Parade of Homes is brought to you by the HBA, Thomas Home Corporation, Pensacola Energy, Ballinger Publishing, WEAR TV 3, COX, WCOA 1370 AM, Nash 102.7 FM. This year’s Parade is set for June 8 – June 16, with weekend hours from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., and weekdays 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

In closing, there’s never been a better time to buy a home with historically low interest rates. Whether you are a potential home buyer or home builder, the Parade of Homes has something for everyone.

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