The Fall Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City, is gearing up for its Sept. 22 through Oct. 7 run.
The free event, which marks its 71st year, spans eight counties and features over 300 new-build properties. The home prices range from $220,000 to $1.85 million, offering a broad span of what is available throughout the Kansas City metro.
Chris Ragland of Homes by Chris, LLC, is a custom home builder who, along with her husband Roy, builds homes primarily in the Northland. For about 10 years, they have showcased their work on the twice yearly parade of homes.
Ragland explains why the parade is a good opportunity not only for builders, but for anyone considering building a home.
Q: Why do you participate in the Parade of Homes?
We are in it to market our homes. We get a lot of bang for the buck because we are in a book that people keep for references. People will see our homes and come back to us a couple of years later when they are ready to build.
Q: How do you decide what to put on the parade?
We actually plan a year to a year-and-a-half in advance about where our parade homes are going to be.
We put a lot of thought into keeping up with trends and showing something unique in the home.
You need to be able to walk into the house and see an “Ooh, Ahh.” We are always looking to be innovative but also add value for the owners.
Q: What kind of trends can people expect to see in new homes on the tour?
The big trends we are seeing include outdoor living. Everyone wants an outdoor living area, not just a patio.
They want a fireplace or a fire pit or an outdoor kitchen. They want to spend a little more on landscaping or pavers. We are also seeing a true butler’s pantry with a prep sink, built-in cabinetry and another oven.
I think people are being homebodies and entertaining at home. Bathtubs are also going away. The spa master bath is still there, but you no longer need a bath in the master and one in another part of the house.
Formal dining rooms are no more. We are making more space in the kitchen for the table. The kitchen dining table is getting larger. We are doing big eat-in kitchens where a farmhouse table fits.
Q: What have you seen change in the 15 years since you started building homes?
Ever since the Chip and Joanna (Gaines) craze, the trend of the modern farmhouse has been popular. It was started in Texas, but the farmhouse is coming from the Midwest. People with backgrounds in agriculture bring that barn wood and shiplap into the home and can relate to Midwest designers.
That’s been really unusual because typically the trends start on the East and West coasts and move inward. We may be coming to the end of that. People here are getting more comfortable with bringing up their suggestions. It has been fun to watch.
Q: How do you advise people approach the parade?
If someone is thinking seriously about building, I would advise to find out where you want to live first. Do you want a subdivision? Or be out in the country? Pick up a parade book at one of the houses or the HBA office.
Go online and search what type of house you want. Pay attention to where you spend your time and make sure that part of the house is the right size to fit your family needs. Think through how you live and how much space you need. Little details like what side of the sink you want to load the dishwasher on makes a difference to people.
Fall Parade of Homes
Sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City. Sept. 22 through Oct. 7. Free. Every house on the tour is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tour books can be picked up at the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City or in any of the homes on the tour. www.kchba.org