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Latest trends, range of prices in home parade

By Corene Brisendine

This year’s Parade of Homes will include houses with a wide range of price tags.

The parade will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The event is free and open to the public.

Terry Robinson, national director of the Flint Hills Area Builders Association, said this is the first year a large price range of houses will be on display. He said the prices vary from $155,000 to $380,000 among the 10 houses on the route.

As for what’s new, he said builders are seeing requests for several amenities from home buyers.

“One thing we’ve had to do is find a cheaper source for granite,” Robinson said, who also owns Robinson Building Corp.

He said buyers are no longer willing to purchase homes with laminate countertops, preferring stone.

Engineered hardwood flooring is another big seller. He said it is popular and cost effective.

Loren Pepperd, real estate agent and appraiser, said home buyers are also looking for more spacious living areas with vaulted ceilings, large master bedrooms with walk-in closets and large master baths.

Robinson said interior colors are trending toward earth tones, but with more contrast between dark and light. He said the cabinets and flooring are darker, while trim around the floors and doors are lighter.

Lately, he said, buyers are also seeking exteriors that include man-made stone, and front porches are back in style.

The parade is put on locally by the home builders association in the spring and fall.

Brochures listing the houses can be picked up at Mead Lumber, Dillon’s and anywhere ad display stands are found. Books will also be available in each of the houses on the tour.

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