Home show could be a winner

Published 9:03 pm Saturday, April 17, 2010

It’s a testament to the state of the housing market that the Tidewater Builders Association has chosen this year to hold a second Homearama event and to schedule the event for springtime.

Homearama originally was designed as a way to entice buyers into the market in the fall, a time of year not traditionally known for strong home sales. By holding an event that showcased some of the Hampton Roads market’s best communities and hottest new home ideas and designs, the organization was able to spark some interest and some business during a slow season.

On the other hand, springtime is a traditionally popular time to shop for new homes — and to sell them. Things look better in the spring, when flowers are blooming, grass is growing and even the sunlight puts most homes in their best light.

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But with the housing market among the hardest-hit industries during the past couple of years of recession and failing economy, organizers decided that area homebuilders could use a boost during their traditionally strongest season.

Isle of Wight — and to a large degree, Suffolk — will benefit from that decision, as upwards of 100,000 people are expected to come to the area to see the eight Founder’s Pointe homes and many vendors to be highlighted in this first springtime Homearama. A large percentage of those people are expected to drive to Isle of Wight through Suffolk’s own high-growth corridor, and there’s a good chance they’ll stop over for dinner, for shopping or just to check out some of the areas near the featured community in Isle of Wight.

For their part, Isle of Wight officials are hoping that homes and lots will sell in Founder’s Pointe and other communities nearby, thereby increasing the county’s tax base and helping to provide a payday for those contractors, vendors and service-providers who are involved in the real-estate transactions.

Even service-providers in Suffolk are likely to see a boost, as new residents begin to look for landscapers, furniture stores and all the other people and businesses that support new homeowners.

The event should be a winner for the Tidewater Builders Association, for Isle of Wight and for Suffolk. To the extent that it gives greater Hampton Roads a closer look at Western Tidewater — arguably the best part of the area — it will be a winner for everybody who does business in those communities, as well.