This weekend, the Home Builders Association of Statesboro will host its annual tour of homes. With homes and properties located in six different subdivisions throughout Bulloch County, this year's tour should give buyers a solid idea of what their money can buy.
"This year's tour is not as big as ones we have had in the past, but that isn't really that surprising," said Keely Fennell speaking on behalf of NeSmith Construction and the Home Builders Association of Statesboro. "As builders and developers, we are all working through a very difficult real estate market, but that is good for buyers. There are some great deals out there for buyers on both new and previously constructed homes, and the tour is a wonderful way to see what is available in new construction."
Subdivisions on the tour include Sweet Briar, Buckhead Plantation, Timber Ridge, Myrtle Crossing, Wedgefield, and Alexander Farms.
Alexander Farms' first year on the tour was last year, and spokesperson for the subdivision's development group Lynda Williamson said she feels participation in the tour is very worthwhile.
"As with last year, we are very excited about the tour of homes, because it is an opportunity to show how unique Alexander Farms is," Williamson said. "My family has had a passion for this area for a very long time. Since developing Brannen Lake in the early 1980's, this type of a development has been our vision. We are creating Alexander Farms with conservation in mind. We love this land, and we want to both preserve it, and share it, and hope that people will come out this weekend and see our vision."
Local builder David Padgett, owner of Padgett Construction, has one home on the tour this year. It is located in Myrtle Crossing.
"Whether someone is interested in buying a home or not, the tour helps people see new ideas and the latest in construction materials," he said. "You can get out and see what neighborhoods are being developed, and get an idea at what is available in a leisurely setting without having to call and meet someone on site."
Padgett is one of the few builders constructing "spec" homes in the county. Those are constructed homes which have no contracted buyer prior to construction. In essence, the builder hopes the home will sell during or at the end of the construction phase.
"I am comfortable with building 'spec' homes at this time, because there is very little new inventory on the market," he said. "I feel there are those buyers looking for a new home, and although it may not be many, there are still enough to support some speculative construction."
As with last year, there isn't going to be a home show at the Homebuilders Association headquarters. Instead, suppliers will be located at various homes throughout the tour. Fennell said they will be on hand displaying the ‘latest and greatest' materials available in our industry.
"We found that this worked really well last year, so we decided to try it again this year," she said. "Our vendors are excited about this approach."
The organization has produced its annual Tour of Homes guide which can be found in local banks, the Homebuilders office in the Market District, and at the Statesboro Herald. The guide includes a tour map, tour guide, USDA loan map, and mortgage rate calculator.
"There is no doubt that this is a smaller tour than we have had in the past, but our association feels it is important to provide this opportunity to showcase local construction regardless of the number of homes," she said. "It is another form of outreach to our community, and our association is very committed to outreach and service."
There is no fee to visit any of the locations on the tour, and representatives will be available to answer questions about the property. The tour is open Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m.
"We always have a good time with the tour, and people who come look at the homes always seem to enjoy themselves," Fennell said. "We hope to see you there."