Homearama starts this week

Published 9:20 pm Monday, October 12, 2015

This home on Bridlewood Lane is one of 12 in Suffolk that will be on display as part of the Tidewater Builder’s Association’s 2015 Homearama Touring Edition.

This home on Bridlewood Lane is one of 12 in Suffolk that will be on display as part of the Tidewater Builder’s Association’s 2015 Homearama Touring Edition.

A dozen homes in Suffolk and one in Carrollton are open for three weekends beginning Thursday for the Tidewater Builders Association’s 2015 Homearama.

Unlike previous Homearamas, which featured a dozen or so custom homes in the same neighborhood and price range, this year’s edition presents a self-guided driving tour of 56 houses in six localities, representing a variety of homes for many lifestyles.

Jean McCullough, staff vice president for Homearama and home shows, said she introduced the concept when she started working at the Tidewater Builders Association four years ago. A driving tour of homes is the future of such events, she said.

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“It takes 12 acres just to park people, and as we develop it gets tighter,” she said. “There’s got to be an alternate format for this show.”

Most homebuilders have either never done a single-site home tour or abandoned it a long time ago in favor of the “scattered site” model, McCullough said.

The new format does not mean that TBA is abandoning the single-site concept, she said.

“The time was just right this year to roll out this scattered-site concept here on the Southside,” she said.

The new format opens Homearama to folks who may not have been interested before, McCullough added.

“It’s a way to make Homearama, in my opinion, relevant to a much broader market,” she said. “For the first time in Homearama history, we have something for every lifestyle, for every family.”

Across all 56 homes, there are the traditional single-family homes as well as townhomes, condominiums and communities for active older adults.

More builders also are involved this year, because companies that do not build custom homes are able to participate, McCullough added.

“The builders who are not custom homebuilders have embraced it beautifully,” she said.

Except for the homes being spread out, not much else has changed about Homearama, McCullough said. The homes are still available for walk-throughs, and many of them are furnished and landscaped. Vendors will be set up at various homes throughout the tour.

An addition to the tour is the free Parade Craze app, which allows smartphone users to look up houses, get turn-by-turn directions, see photo galleries, rate their favorite homes and more.

“It hits a whole new demographic for Homearama that’s tied to their phones,” McCullough said.

For those without a smartphone, the list of homes is available at homearamatour.com. A free copy of the Tour Guide is available at each home.

Tickets can be purchased at homearamatour.com or at any of the houses using a credit card. The ticket will be scanned at each house visited.

Prizes for ticketholders include an outdoor grill, a fire pit, a closet makeover and box-seat tickets with parking passes to a Washington Redskins game.

The show will be open on three consecutive four-day weekends: Oct. 15-18, Oct. 22-25 and Oct. 29 to Nov. 1. Each weekend has a theme: Fall Festival, Oktoberfest and Team Tailgate Party, respectively.

Tickets cost $10 and cover all houses on all three weekends. Guests can visit as few or as many homes as they wish from noon to 8 p.m. each day. Children 12 and younger are free.

The homes in Suffolk, listed by builder and address, are as follows:

  • Christopher Kait Construction — 3746 Willow Glenn Circle
  • Ore Builders — 3743 Willow Glenn Circle
  • Preston Homes — 3745 Willow Glenn Circle
  • Napolitano Homes — 840 Bennett’s Meadow Lane
  • Weldenfield and Rowe — 3108 Summerhouse Drive
  • Platinum Homes Inc. — 2517 Saint Martin Drive
  • The Widener Corporation — 207 and 209 Bridlewood Lane
  • TerryPeterson Residential — 5210 Moreland St.
  • Chesapeake Homes — 113 Jaclyn Drive
  • Wirth Development Corporation — 2010 Anthony Place
  • Sasser Construction — 3030 Parkside Circle

The Carrollton home is built by Sasser Construction and is located at 106 Tyler Court.