Maybe you’re not going to buy a $500,000 home during this economy, but it might still be fun to look at one.
And that would be just fine with members of the Lawrence Home Builders Association, who are set to host their annual Spring Parade of Homes for both buyers and browsers alike.
“We just want people to come out,” said Bobbie Flory, executive director of the home builders association. “It won’t be a typical sales event. It is just a good opportunity for people to find out what they like and don’t like.”
The parade will run from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and also May 5 and 6.
The parade will feature 17 homes, ranging in price from $164,900 to $509,000. The half-million-dollar home — at 102 Earhart Circle — isn’t even for sale. It was a custom home built by Lawrence-based Apple Tree Homes, and the owners are allowing it to be on the tour before they move in.
“It will be exciting to look at,” Flory said.
The home features 3,500 square feet of space, five bedrooms, 4.5 baths, lots of exposed wood beams and a mosaic tile Jayhawk in a special basement bar area.
Ten builders are participating in this years tour, fewer than in many years, but Flory said some builders pulled homes from the tour because they had sold recently.
“Several builders feel like there is more activity in the market,” Flory said. “Optimism is up.”
Recently released numbers indicated a mixed bag for the local housing and real estate activity. Building permits for new single-family and duplex homes in Lawrence are up about 35 percent for the first quarter compared with the same period a year ago. Builders have received permits for 31 projects, up from 23 during the first quarter of 2011.
But a new report from the Lawrence Board of Realtors found home sales during the first quarter were down 7.6 for the period, with 183 sales in the first quarter of 2012 compared with 198 in the first quarter of 2011.
A full list of homes on the parade can be found at lawrenceparade.com.