Home show visitors spike

Published 7:53 pm Monday, May 17, 2010

Thousands of people discovered Founder’s Pointe during the weekend.

While the Spring Homearama has had a good turnout for the past two weeks, Saturday and Sunday were by far the busiest days yet, according to builders, vendors and real estate agents.

“We were slammed,” said Mark Edwards, senior vice-president and broker of East West Realty. “It’s been our busiest two days by far. It seemed to me we had twice as many people as we had last week. At one point, we had to close the door of the Smithfield house until people filtered out.”

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Of course, there were seven other houses just a few feet away for guests to tour while they waited.

But contractors and developers have even more tangible reasons than turnout to believe that the homes showcase has been a success.

Six of the eight houses featured in the show have sold, including Charity House, the profits from which will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs. And builders have found that the show has piqued the interest of potential clients, as well.

“I came back to my office [Monday] afternoon to emails from five or six people wanting to build houses,” said Eric Sasser of Sasser Construction, which built the Charity House. “As a builder, it feels good to have that kind of a response and so many nice compliments over the weekend.”

Edwards said he also helped people who will be building homes in Suffolk, the Outer Banks, York County and Williamsburg.

“I think I sold six houses [on Sunday],” Edwards said. “People are coming out with a mission. They’re also looking for ideas.”

Families of all sizes and ages came to the tour, from parents with young children to elderly with grown children.

“We had a lot of multi-generational families coming through to tour the homes,” Sasser said. “I can’t say I’ve seen that trend so prominent in previous years. It typically has been moms with grown children, but now we see families with their aging parents looking at homes together. I think the family unit is changing a lot.”

Edwards said he has continued to hear positive comments from people regarding the quality of the homes and attention to detail.

“People have had so many positive things to say that you know it’s a good thing,” Edwards said. “It’s great to hear those kinds of comments from folks.”

Despite Monday’s rain, Edwards said crowds have continued.

“It’s a good opportunity for those who saw something they liked to come back without such a high volume of people and talk to decorators and builders and ask questions,” Edwards said.

Homearama runs through May 23, noon to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Visit www.homearama.tv for more information.