By MEGAN HUSSEY
For about 30 years, the Nature Coast Builders Association has hosted the Parade of Homes for the Nature Coast; a tour of some of the most beautiful and stylish modern homes in Hernando County. And while the home tour, hosted by an organization that represents the interests of the building industry and the general public in Florida’s Hernando and Citrus counties, always has been a showcase of virtual radiance and excellence in the art of homebuilding, this year’s tour is ‘virtual’ in a second important sense.
This year’s parade, co-sponsored by Sunrise Propane and scheduled February 29 – March 15 10am – 5pm Monday thru Saturday, 12noon – 5pm on Sundays throughout the duration of the Parade, features a total of 13 homes from seven area builders. And while you can visit 10 of these models at their tour locations, three of the models are presented in virtual tours, online at https://www.paradeofhomesnaturecoast.com/index.php. Also at the site, you can see high definition photo galleries and detailed floor plans of every home featured, and access pertinent facts such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, address, maps, directions, and contact info.
This new way of presenting model homes to the public seems very much in line with the theme of this year’s Parade of Homes.
“The tour starts on Leap Day,” said Nita Beckwith-MeLaugh, Certified Executive Officer, NCBA. “We can leap into the New Year and a new decade with a new home.”
Since its inception, the Parade of Homes–a partnership and collaboration of builders association members and community sponsors–has served a dual purpose in the community.
“For builders, the Parade is an opportunity to show the community their new homes, the top of their game. ” said Beckwith-MeLaugh. “For the public, this is the chance to find their dream home.”
Although no set criteria is established for model entries, parade organizers pride themselves on presenting beautiful and affordable homes. Many of this year’s models boast a two-bedroom, three-bathroom floor plan and approximately 2,000 square feet or more of living space.
“This is a showcase of new and existing models with many different features,” said Beckwith-MeLaugh. “In many models, we see more open spaces for family gatherings and entertaining, and full and very convenient spaces and electrical outlets available for home offices.”
Many models also feature accents such as fashionable, tropically influenced home designs, innovative home products, elegant decor, technology, energy efficiency, modern gourmet kitchens, relaxing owners’ suites that include spa like baths, broad sparkling swimming pools, fireplaces, vaulting ceilings and marble countertops, etc.
Many of these features are customizable; and whether taking a self-guided tour of the parade on foot, or taking a virtual tour online, those interested can request the changes that they need to turn a parade model home into a dream home.
“Some prospective buyers like to customize options, like the number of bedrooms or other aspects of the floor plan,” said Beckwith-MeLaugh. “Others walk into their dream home and buy on the spot.”
As an added bonus, those who complete the parade on foot and visit all entries can qualify for a drawing to win a $300 Visa gift card.
Robin Pastore, Chairwoman of Parade of Homes and Owner, Pastore Custom Builders, Inc., says that today’s home market is showing renewed signs of promise and growth.
“There is a real excitement in the building industry,” she said. “The market is strong again, and it’s good for everybody.”
And so, says Pastore, is the parade itself.
“We have homes for everyone here, from starter homes to retirement homes,” she said. “All the work of great builders.”
This year’s Parade of Homes features St. Martens by Pastore Custom Builders, Ocho Rios by Pastore Custom Builders, Camilla by ProBuilt U.S., Cabana Key by Palmwood Construction, Cabana Cay by Palmwood Construction, The Verona by Hartland Homes, Don Calais by Dream Custom Homes, Don Crystal by Dream Custom Homes, Don Valencia by Dream Custom Homes, Grand Floridian by Artistic Homes, Grand Bahama by Artistic Homes, Grand Cayman by Artistic Homes, and Goya by Alexander Custom Homes.
Andrew L Carr, vice president of Growth and Development at Sunrise Propane in Hudson, says that Sunrise Propane is proud to be sponsoring the Nature Coast Builders Association’s Parade of Homes.
“This is our fourth year being the Platinum Presenting Sponsor,” he said, “and we’re looking forward to a great event this year.”
Carr says that the parade provides a prime showcase, not only for his company’s product, but for some amazing homes in this area.
“Being involved in the Parade of Homes gives us the opportunity to introduce the many efficient money saving features of using propane for residential use,” said Carr. “The builders we work with take great pride in the homes they build, and we enjoy working with them on a daily basis.”
And ultimately, said Carr, the Nature Coast Builders Association’s Parade of Homes serves as a beautiful showcase for the Hernando community.
“We hope everyone who’s interested in a new home will come out and take a look at what’s available in our beautiful community.”