The 2017 Parade of Homes, presented by the Greater Fort Smith Association of Home Builders (GFSAHB), kicked off Thursday night (Oct. 5) with a VIP reception from this year’s Showcase Home at 7020 Stonebrook Drive in the Chaffee Crossing area. The home is one of 10 entered in this year’s parade.
Built by Carrington Creek Homes, the 1,903-square foot Showcase Home is a three-bed, two-bath home with granite countertops, outdoor kitchen and natural gas grill, and all gas appliances throughout. The home also features a natural gas generator for home electricity as well as natural gas logs and garage heater and wood flooring. Ceilings are 19 feet tall. Other features include a security system, covered patio, surround sound, Weather Barr windows, walk-in closets, and glass shower enclosure that oversees an oversized tile shower.
The Parade of Homes began in the early 1980s, according to GFSAHB Executive Director Stephanie Stipins, who told Talk Business & Politics in a previous interview she wasn’t sure on the exact date but that the first Showcase Homes started to appear “in 1983 or ’84.”
Area builders will typically enter homes they have built “on spec” (without a buyer) and the GFSAHB will market the grouping through online, television, and newspaper media sources as well as the organization’s website and Facebook pages. Each home will also feature a game card where attendees can receive “proof” of visitation, thus qualifying for a $1,000 drawing, Stipins said, because “we want to encourage people to go see every house.”
“That’s because they’ll say, ‘Oh I don’t want to live in Alma, or I don’t want to live in Van Buren, but I want to enter the $1,000 competition to win. So Armstrong Bank is sponsoring that, and it encourages people to see each home.”
Visibility, Stipins noted, can make all the difference when it comes to closing sales.
“We had two houses on the north side of town, over on North 6th – reduced price, brand new homes the Fort Smith Housing Authority built that just couldn’t draw traffic, but we were able to get them out there.” Both sold, Stipins said, “because people were like, ‘Oh this isn’t so bad.’ We just had to get them over there to see it.”
The 2017 Parade of Homes Schedule for nine of the 10 homes will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays (Oct. 6-8, 13-15), while the Showcase Home will remain open for the entire two-week period. Fort Smith – specifically the Chaffee Crossing and Middleton/Ridgewood sections of South Fort Smith – will host six of the locations while the remaining four will be split across Van Buren (2), Greenwood (1), and Alma (1). List prices range from $149,500 to $572,000. The Showcase Home is listed at $279,900.
Complete listing details and directions are available at this link on the GFSAHB website.