Like falling leaves and pumpkin harvests, the annual Parade of Homes has become a sure sign of autumn in the Twin Cities region.
This year's parade, sponsored by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC), features 301 new homes, open from noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays through Sept. 30.
The parade homes are free to the public except three "dream homes," for which the BATC is requesting a $5 donation to the BATC Foundation.
As in previous years, a comprehensive guidebook to parade homes, describing features of all the homes along with listings of special events and features about top design trends. Guidebooks are available at area Holiday Station stores.
In the St. Michael area, Hans Hagen Homes has a pair of Parade Homes in The Preserve area, including a smaller family home on Narrow Way, and a new construction home on 47th Lane Northeast.
There are also Parade Homes in Albertville and Otsego that will be featured throughout the month.
Prices of the homes run the gamut, ranging from $139,900 to $2,780,000. The lowest priced homes are in the northern suburbs and include a $139,900 two-bedroom condominium located at Main Street Village in New Brighton and a $184,900 one-level villa at Alexandras Cove in Coon Rapids.
The most expensive home is one of the three "dream homes," a four-bedroom, two-story home at Wayne Terrace in Edina, priced at $2.78 million. The most expensive home that is free to tour is a five bedroom, 10,000-square-foot home in West Lakeland, priced at $2.6 million.
Homes are located throughout the region, both close in to the downtown area and exurban. The majority, however, are in the growing suburban areas, including 23 in Plymouth, 21 in Blaine, 19 in Woodbury, 17 in Lakeville, and 16 in Maple Grove.
Among the special features this year:
- An Energy Efficient Home Tour, sponsored by Xcel Energy. This tour-within-a-tour showcases 103 homes that have been tested by an independent energy rater to earn a HERS (Home Energy Rating Score). Of those, 22 have been certified by Minnesota’s Green Path, and feature a Home Performance Report (HPR) that graphically explains the home’s HERS score as well as other energy and green features built into the home.
- Three of the MN Green Path certified homes have been selected by the BATC Foundation as their Dream Homes. The $5 donation requested to tour these homes helps the foundation continue to build and remodel homes for area families in need. The three homes are #76 by Homes by Tradition LLC in Golden Valley (priced at $1.079 million), #186 by Hartman Homes, Inc. in St. Mary’s Point (priced at $1.85 million), and #293 by Erotas Building Corporation in Edina (priced at $2.78 million).
- A mobile site and iPhone and Android app enabling paradegoers to use smart phones and tablets for searching out homes of particular interest.
- A "Remodelers Showcase," open Sept. 28-30. The 89 featured remodeled homes will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. Sept. 28 and noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 29 and 30.