New and improved Homearama returns

Published 9:37 pm Friday, October 21, 2016

One of the area’s premier home showcases is in full effect.

Returning for its 34th year, Homearama has come with a few changes since its 2015 show.

Following the trend of most homebuilder associations, the Tidewater Builders Association has decided to stray away from its traditional format of hosting showcases at one location. Instead, they have decided to designate various houses around the region as Homearama sites.

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This year, there are 40 homes in 37 communities spread across Suffolk, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Virginia Beach andElizabeth City.

“This is a great way for people to get out and see markets they haven’t considered before,” said Jean McCullough, staff vice president of Homearama and Home Shows for the Tidewater Builders Association.

McCullough said the switch has been received mostly positively by the public.

“I love it,” said Marjorie Brannan, a Virginia Beach resident visiting The Wilroy home located at The Cove at Bennett’s Creek Square community on Friday.

The new Homearama format spreads visitors out to the various sites and doesn’t clump them into large crowds as in previous years.

“You do it at your own pace,” Brannan said.

Additionally, to facilitate the new transition, a mobile app was developed. The app lists all of the homes with detailed descriptions, provides directions to the homes and offers other unique, user-friendly features.

“Technology has allowed us to expand the framework of the show,” McCullough said.

Despite the format change, Homearama maintained its home builders and agents.

Diana Jordan, site agent for Napolitano Homes, said the new format has “enabled us to reach an audience we weren’t able to grasp.”

The homes, ranging from condominiums to custom homes, provide “something for every buyer,” McCullough said.

The event will continue through Oct. 30. At the home sites, there will be refreshments available and also an array of family-friendly events.

Tickets are selling at $10, which grants access for the remaining two weekends and unlimited visits to the houses during regular show hours, which are Thursday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. They can be purchased online at the event’s website or at the showcase’s homes. Tickets will be scanned at each house visit.

In the weeks to follow, the inaugural Homearama Holiday Edition will showcase five homes, decked out in Christmas décor, in the Edinburgh community in Chesapeake. The event will run Nov. 10-20 from noon to 7 p.m.

For more information about Homearama, visit